California is the first state in the country to prohibit the use of tanning beds for all children and adolescents under the age of 18. The ban became official on October 9 when Gov. Edmund G. Brown signed a bill into law that will prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all Californians under the age of 18. According to New York Dermatologist Judith Hellman bigappleskin.com, “This is a welcome ruling from California that we all hope will catch on across the country, and long overdue. There is no way to predict how many lives a ban on tanning beds can actually save but the numbers can be substantial.”
Evidence from several studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. The legislation was proposed and supported by the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and AIM at Melanoma, a non-profit organization dedicated to melanoma research and education.
“Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, 3 percent per year since 1992 in those aged 15 to 39. We pushed for this legislation in the hope of stemming that rise and encouraging other states to follow California’s lead and prohibit the use of tanning devices by minors to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the U.S.,” stated dermatologist Ann F. Hass, MD, FAAD, and past president of the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery
BITB commends California’s action to help fight the development of melanoma, especially in teens who are most at risk. Now if we could just do something about all those sunbathers at Santa Monica Beach. When in doubt, remember this motto, “The only safe tan is a fake tan.”