The study is published in the Jan. 15, 2009, issue of the journal Cancer. It was funded, in part, by Neutrogena Inc., which makes sun blocks and other skin care products but had no role in the research.
Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, a board certified dermatologist and a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, called the study findings "disappointing."
Citing a previous call by the World Health Organization for a ban on tanning bed use by minors, Hale, who's also a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation, said she agreed that indoor tanning bed use should be prohibited for those under 18. She agrees that more education is needed, such as the foundation's new campaign, "Go With Your Own Glow."
New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) helped author the so-called TAN Act (Tanning Accountability and Notification) of 2007, which would direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to re-examine the warning label on tanning beds to ensure it communicates effectively the risk of skin cancer.
The Indoor Tanning Association takes issue with the suggestion that more stringent regulation is needed. The industry standard now is to require parental consent for minors using tanning salons, said John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association.
"Whether or not a teen gets a suntan should be a decision of the parents," he said. "We strongly support parental consent, but we think child-raising is best left to parents."
To learn more about UV rays and cancer, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation.
SOURCES: Vilma Cokkinides, Ph.D., strategic director, risk factor surveillance, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Elizabeth K. Hale, M.D., board certified dermatologist, a
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