Meghan Rothschild, a melanoma survivor and spokesperson for the Melanoma Foundation of New England, talks about an annual pledge drive to get teens to say “no” to tanning beds.
Below are some facts and figures about teens and tanning from Rothschild. For more information, visit www.mfne.org.
- The World Health Organization has determined that ultraviolet (UV) rays from tanning beds cause cancer.
- The increased risk of melanoma associated with early tanning bed use is 59 percent for people whose first exposure to artificial UV rays in a tanning bed occurred before age 35 years and that risk increases with the number of tanning bed sessions per year.
- 2.5 million teens use tanning booths each year including 35 percent of girls age 17. Many start as early as age 13.
- Melanoma is the second-most common cancer in teens and young adults ages 15 to 29.
- It is not safe to tan in the sun or in a tanning booth. Using a tanning bed for 20 minutes is the same as spending 1 to 3 hours a day at the beach with no sun protection at all. Tanning beds put out three to six times the amount of radiation given off by the sun.