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Will D.C. be next to 'Ban the Tan'?

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In 2014 Hawaii became the 10th state to completely ban indoor tanning for minors, along with California, Texas Illinois, Nevada, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Now DC Council member Mary Cheh has introduced a bill that would prohibit adolescents under the age of 17 from using tanning beds.

In a press release Cheh said: “This legislation protects a vulnerable demographic from life-threatening health effects. It also reflects the District’s awareness that a child’s behavior now can have very serious repercussions well into their adulthoods.”

2014 also saw the FDA move tanning lamps into the category of “moderately harmful” medical devices.

According to Dr. Henry Lim, chairman of dermatology at Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, and senior author of the review. “There is a lot of evidence that early and frequent use of tanning beds increases the risk of skin cancer.”

All sunlamps will have a “black box warning label” that say they shouldn’t be used by those under the age of 18.

The FDA guidelines will likely encourage more states to enact legislation. Already there are regulations in most states, such as requiring parental consent.

The new FDA regulations reinforce the recent studies that teens and young adults are particularly vulnerable to developing skin cancer if they use tanning beds

People who are exposed to tanning beds before the age of 35 years have a significantly higher risk of developing melanoma.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology some 30 million Americans use tanning beds each year, of which around 2 million are teenagers.

Young women are the most at-risk population for developing melanoma directly associated with the use of tanning beds girls

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