Thursday, October 27, 2011

California Bans Tanning for Teens

“The Young and the Tanless” caught my attention a couple weeks ago as news coverage highlighted California’s ban on teenage tanning bed use. The Golden State has become the first to outlaw anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. There are 30 states that have laws in place that restrict tanning for minors. Current South Carolina law states that for anyone under the age of 18, a parent must give permission in person and that protective eyewear must be worn.

I wholeheartedly support California’s new legislation and would love to see more restrictive policies here. I know it’s homecoming season for most high schools and colleges, if you or your child are thinking about going to a tanning bed to keep your summer color longer – don’t! The World Health Organization has placed tanning beds in its Group 1 Carcinogen Category along with cigarettes and plutonium.

If that doesn’t cause you to rethink tanning beds, consider that the American Academy of Dermatology has research showing that people who have used indoor tanning have a 75 percent higher risk for developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 25 to 29.

I read that Los Angeles County has shockingly more tanning salons than Starbucks coffee shops and McDonalds restaurants. A quick Google search shows that similarly Greenville is not hurting for tanning choices. As an alternative to tanning, please consider using a spray tan. Many salons offer them as a substitute to harmful tanning beds. Or come visit our office, my staff and I can give you guidance on tanning lotions, bronzers and keeping a radiant, and more importantly, healthy glow through the fall.

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