The Skin Cancer Foundation recently reported that many US college students may have immediate access to indoor tanning salons, and in many cases at no cost. Examining the top 125 colleges ranked by the U.S. News & World Report, researchers found that, despite the now well-established link between ultraviolet (UV) tanning bed use and skin cancer, an astonishing 48 percent of the schools have indoor tanning facilities on or nearby campus. Not only are these facilities abundant, campuses are making it easy for students to access them: Some 14 percent of colleges allow students to pay for tanning services with campus cash cards.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has warned again that using a tanning bed before age 35 leads to higher risk for melanoma by 75 percent. With tanning bed use highest among young, non-Hispanic white women, and with skin cancer rates soaring in this group, researchers warned that “the presence of indoor tanning facilities on and near college campuses may passively reinforce indoor tanning in college students, thereby facilitating behavior that will increase their risk for skin cancer both in the short-term and later in life.”Nearly 5 million people in US are treated for skin cancer, with more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of breast, prostate, lung and colon.
Melanoma is a serious public health issue – it accounts for less than two per cent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. And, about 86 per cent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
The researchers have therefore recommended that college campuses should adopt tanning-free rules, following the lead of administrations that have established tobacco-free policies. Many European countries have banned indoor tanning for those under age 18.
We have been advising consumers to protect their skin against sun and external pollutants. There are effective organic moisturizers which contain ingredients for adequate protection with an SPF 15 or higher. Many natural organic formulations launched by Herbally Radiant provide good protection while, at the same time, providing rich nutrients to rejuvenate skin.
Some States like Texas and Delaware have banned tanning beds for children under age 16. Others should also follow suit.