Prohibit ALL Minors from Using Indoor Tanning Devices

Indoor Tanning Beds Increase the Risk of Skin Cancer

Melanoma is rapidly increasing in Iowa.

  • Over 1,000 new melanoma cases are expected in Iowa this year
  • About 110 Iowans will die from melanoma this year
  • Incidence of melanoma in Iowa increased nearly 25% between 1999 and 2008 due to increased exposure to UV radiation and the use of indoor tanning beds.

Indoor tanning devices are carcinogenic to humans.

In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) raised the classification of UV-emitting indoor tanning devices to the highest level of cancer risk - Group 1 - "carcinogenic to humans".  Recent studies have concluded that individuals who used indoor tanning devices before the age of 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 59%.

The risks of indoor tanning are misunderstood.
Youth often get incorrect and false information from the indoor tanning industry about the risks of tanning.  A 2012 congressional committee report showed that tanning salons often deny the risks of tanning and indicate it is beneficial to a young person's health.  Recently, the Federal Trade Commission settled with the Indoor Tanning Association regarding false health and safety claims.

Youth are especially suseptible to the risk from using indoor tanning devices.

Compounding this risk is the fact that youth - especially girls - are drawn to the appeal of a tanned look and therefore are frequesnt users of tanning beds.  The rate of indoor tanning device use increases drastically as high school girls grow older, from 13 percent among 9th graders to 27 percent among 12th graders.

Because the harmful effects of UV exposure are cumulative over time, indoor tanning devices pose a higher risk for children and teens by increasing their overall lifetime UV exposure.  Additionally, more than half of adolescents who use an indoor tanning device also reported a sunburn after use, which can significantly increase the risk of melanoma later in life.

Children under the age of 18 should be prohibited from using indoor tanning facilities.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supports legislative and regulatory initiatives at all levels of government to protect the public from increased skin cancer risk associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation emitted by indoor tanning facilities.  ACS CAN supports efforts to prohibit minors from using indoor tanning facilities, ensure tanning facilities are properly regulated, ensure enforcement provisions are in place, and make sure consumers are properly informed about the risk of indoor tanning devices prior to use.