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

ors of 65 percent of the participating facilities said they would allow children as young as 10 or 12 to use indoor-tanning devices. Employees at 43 percent claimed there were no risks associated with indoor tanning, and 80 percent of facility operators said indoor tanning would prevent future sunburns. Both claims are false, the study notes.

The World Health Organization has stated that people younger than 18 should not use tanning beds, a recommendation based on several scientific studies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has deemed ultraviolet rays from the sun and artificial tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans, equivalent to tobacco.

"Minimizing exposure to ultraviolet rays, no matter the source, lowers one's risk of skin cancer," says Graham Colditz, MD, PhD, a cancer prevention expert at Washington University and the Siteman Cancer Center who wasn't involved in the study. "The problem with indoor tanning is that users start very young and, unlike the sun, tanning beds are a completely avoidable cancer risk."

He recommends that people of all ages avoid ultraviolet rays from tanning beds and protect themselves as much as possible while in direct sunlight. Hats, long-sleeve shirts and the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher are helpful, he says. And instead of tanning booths, Colditz recommends sunless tanning lotions, which have not been proven unsafe and pose no risk of inhalation, as might spray tans.

Here are other precautions for lowering cancer and other disease risks.


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Contact: Jim Goodwin
jgoodwin@wustl.edu
314-286-0166
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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