(NEW YORK) — More than one million people visit tanning salons in the United States every day.
Many of those that do use tanning salons are teenage girls. According to an article in the journal Pediatrics, 35 to 40 percent of white adolescent girls use indoor tanning devices. The article points out that artificial tanning increases the risks of skin cancer. The increased risk includes risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and a common cancer among adolescents and young adults.
The average U.S. city has more tanning salons than Starbucks or McDonald’s locations.
The rate of melanoma in women age 15 to 39 more than doubled between 1973 and 2004, according to the article. According to the authors, 25 percent of melanoma diagnoses may be attributable to tanning beds. The article also urges pediatricians to discuss the dangers of the life-threatening practice with families.
Researchers also suggested spray tanning as a potential alternative which does not include the same health risks as tanning beds.
President Obama’s health care overhaul implemented a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning in 2010. Several states and medical organizations have moved to ban minors from tanning in tanning salons.
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