Where The Sun Don’t Shine

Most Arizona cities see sunshine about 85 percent of the year. So, you wouldn’t think our state would be a hotbed for tanning beds. But a quick yelp search for tanning salons in Phoenix turned up an astounding 329 results!

Tanning beds are incredibly popular, even here in the land of the sun, but a new report is casting a dark shadow on indoor tanning. The study suggests indoor tanning is a likely factor for the steeper increase in melanoma rates in the United States, especially among younger women.

From CBS News.com:

The authors were particularly interested in younger women’s indoor tanning habits because rates of skin cancer are rising notably in this population….”This is one of the first studies to look at the relationship between indoor tanning and melanoma broken down by gender and age group,” said study author DeAnn Lazovich.  

The researchers found that women were two to six times more likely to develop melanoma if they had tanned indoors, Lazovich told CBS News.

Some Arizona lawmakers are hoping to turn the lights out on indoor tanning…..at least among teens. A proposed new law would prohibit indoor tanning facilities from allowing anyone under 18 to use a tanning bed, and would require such businesses to check identification and keep records of people who use their facilities.

Tucson News Now quoted the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Regina Cobb, as saying, “It’s not just about tanning beds, it’s about preventing skin cancer. Just allowing a 17-year-old, 16-year-old, 14-year-old who thinks it’s her first prom and she wants to go in and get tan and not know all the risks and everything that’s out there is really negligent on our part.”

According to Student Science, more than one million people use tanning beds every day. The American Cancer Society claims tanning booths deliver 10 to 15 times the UV radiation of natural sunlight, “boosting the user’s risk of developing deadly melanoma by at least 75%.”

Share your thoughts on these sobering statistics and whether you support Arizona’s new law proposal as we do. Finding new ways to talk about these questions and working together to find solutions is critical to our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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