Pediatricians urge law against tanning beds for the underage

Apr 13, 2011

Tanning beds could increase cancer risk

A good way to lower skin cancer rates among the general populace would be to ban the use of tanning beds for Americans under 18, the American Association of Pediatrics announced recently.

Despite continuing efforts to discourage the use of artificial tanning devices - which use ultraviolet radiation to simulate the effects of heavy sun exposure - the rate of skin cancer among Americans of all ages has continued to rise in recent years, the group said. Teenagers - particularly females - tend to use tanning beds and the like in spite of the well-known melanoma risk the devices pose.

The AAP, American Medical Association, and American Academy of Dermatology all say banning artificial tanning is a step in the right direction, but the groups also note that Americans of all stripes are still far too incautious about UV radiation exposure. Wearing more sunscreen and avoiding excessive exposure to the midday sun can help avoid skin cancer.

With skin cancer comes a number of direct and indirect costs, including that of immediate treatment and of higher health and life insurance rates in the future.

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