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Majority of Missouri tan salons allow pre-teens
Date:2/24/2013

MD, chief of the Division of Dermatology and the Winfred A. and Emma R. Showman Professor in Dermatology at Washington University. "With the absence of logical age restrictions, we are failing to protect our children, who are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer when exposed to the high-intensity levels of ultraviolet light that can be received in a tanning bed."

The findings appear online Feb. 25 in Pediatrics.

Exposure to ultraviolet light from tanning beds makes users 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma than nonusers, and some studies have reported an increased risk of up to three times, Cornelius says. They're also up to 2.5 times more likely to develop more common nonmelanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell cancers.

Of the states that regulate tanning bed use, some ban minors until they reach a certain age; others require parental permission. Last year California became the first state to prohibit the use of indoor tanning beds by anyone younger than 18.

Cornelius says she and her colleagues at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine routinely see young, typically female, melanoma patients who report previous tanning bed use.

"Indoor tanning may seem innocuous at first," she says. "Due to what is called 'tumor lag time,' or the time between an exposure to a carcinogen such as ultraviolet and the development of a cancer, it may take a decade or longer for someone who has been exposed to artificial ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds to develop a skin cancer."

For the study, the researchers identified 831 indoor tanning facilities across Missouri and randomly selected and called 375 of them, posing as prospective clients. For consistency, the researchers made attempts to survey each salon twice.

Of the facilities called, 243 salons completed two interviews and were included in the analysis. Operat
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Contact: Jim Goodwin
jgoodwin@wustl.edu
314-286-0166
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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