The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has issued a statement endorsing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation that no one under the age of 18 should use a tanning bed. The AAD is concerned with the rising incidence of skin cancer diagnosis in America.
Skin cancer, the most common type of cancer, is caused by ultraviolet rays. Tanning beds are known to emit significant amounts of both UVA and UVB rays. These rays are so dangerous that the United States Department of Health and Human Services recently listed them as known carcinogens.
States around the country are beginning to follow AAD and WHO’s advice. New York has pending legislature to require parental permission for those under 18 to use tanning beds. However, WHO favors the route that the California legislature has taken with the Filante Tanning Facility Act of 1988, which bans the use of tanning beds by those under 18 unless they have a note from a doctor.
Consumer Reports conducted a survey of tanning salons in 2005 and concluded that evidence of a public-health threat more serious than early wrinkles and skin cancer.
The District of Columbia and Virginia do not currently regulate tanning by minors. Maryland tried to ban tanning for those under 13 in March of 2006, but the bill was withdrawn in the House.