Tanning Bed Facts and Figures
- Skin cancer is a major health problem. It is estimated that there are over 3.5 million cases of skin cancer in the United States each year, more than all other cancers combined.
- The FDA has classified UV radiation as a human carcinogen, in the same class as tobacco and X-radiation.
- Overwhelming evidence supports that ultraviolet radiation from tanning devices causes skin cancer.
- The US Department of Health and Human Services has found tanning beds to be a known cancer-causing agent.
- Tanning bed users are at increased risk for all types of skin cancers. This includes melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Tanning bed users are 87% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have not.
- Indoor tanning devices cause mutant skin cells. They cause premature aging of the skin, damage to the eyes, and all forms of skin cancer, including malignant melanoma.
- A single tanning bed exposure increases the risk of skin cancer. 40% of youngsters have used tanning beds more than 10 times.
- Tanning bed use is rising dramatically. Now, up to 1/3 of American teenagers have used tanning beds and 40% of those use them on a regular basis. Tanning bed use is particularly common in the South, and Birmingham has one of the highest per capita number in the country.
- Although Alabama has legislation to protect our children from the dangers associated with smoking, drinking, and using illicit drugs, Alabama has NO state law in place to prevent children from using tanning devices.
- The Indoor Tanning Industry uses the same marketing tactics as the tobacco industry did and specifically targets children who are most susceptible to damage by tanning beds.
- The U.S. Center for Disease Control currently advises consumers to restrict the use of indoor tanning devices by children and teenagers.
- Thirty-three states have enacted laws restricting access of minors to tanning facilities, including ALL of the states that border Alabama.
- Protecting the public, especially children, and requiring appropriate oversight of the indoor tanning industry is crucial to promoting public health and reducing overall health care costs.
Let's Protect Alabama's Children