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Teens Turned Away from Tanning Salons, That’s the Good News …

Exposure to ultraviolet tanning devices before age 30 increases the risk of skin cancer by 75 percent. (Evil Erin/Flickr)

Exposure to ultraviolet tanning devices before age 30 increases the risk of skin cancer by 75 percent. (Evil Erin/Flickr)

By Angela Hart

California was the first state to ban people under 18-years-old from using tanning salons, and now new research takes a look at how well the law is working.

In the study researchers, including a team at UC San Francisco, surveyed hundreds of tanning salons and found roughly three-quarters of them were adhering with key aspects of the law, although many also misrepresented health benefits of indoor tanning.

“The good news was that the majority of salons were complying with the law,” said Jack Resneck, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of dermatology at UCSF. “The bad news was that we got rampant misinformation — a lot of which is prohibited by law.”

Resneck said tanning beds can have significant health consequences for young people. Exposure to ultraviolet tanning devices before age 30 increases the risk of skin cancer by 75 percent, and nationally, the tanning industry aggressively targets minors in advertising.

The researchers said that despite what they called clear evidence of cancer risk, “indoor tanning remains popular in the United States.”

Nationwide, more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, according to the study. Continue reading