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Tanning Beds, Should Teens be banned?

Updated on August 23, 2011

Every Spring everyone gets ready to welcome the Summer sun. Some of us prepare ourselves by getting out our summer clothes, other of us start our walking regime and several of us start going to the tanning bed. Teens are a vast majority of the population that flocks to the tanning bed, usually getting ready for that upcoming prom.  An astonishing statistic: On the average day there are a million people using a tanning bed.   70 % of these million people are girls primarily ages 16 to 35.

Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics stated they would recommend legislation for the banning of teens from tanning beds. They would like to see Pediatricians support a ban on teens. An advisory board from the Federal Drug Administration agrees. If a ban is not implemented then parental consent will definitely be considered.

This proposal is getting some backing form major organizations. The World Health Organization along with the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Dermatology firmly support this ban.

Exposure to UV radiation during tanning destroys skin cells

Ultra Violet radiation is a proven Human Carcinogen.

Most of us know that tanning overall is bad for our skin. Indoor tanning beds are worse because the ultraviolet lights are 10 to 15 times higher than that of the midday sun.

What are the facts?  A review of seven studies indicates that there is a significant increase in melanoma in those who have been exposed to indoor UV tanning before the age of 35.

The World Health Organization has listed tanning beds as Group I.  This is in the same category as other carcinogens such as plutonium and cigarettes!  The Federal Drug Administration currently regulates Indoor tanning machines.

News stories are using the story of Samantha Hessel to get their point across. She is a very pretty high school graduate who developed melanoma from going to the tanning bed.  Despite the warnings she saw nothing wrong with preparing for her prom this way.  All of her friends were doing it!  Statistics from  the Skin care foundation show these facts: 

  • 90 % of pediatric melanoma occurs in girls ages 10 to 20.
  • Between 1971 and 2001, Melanoma in those under 20 years of age rose 2.9%.
  • Melanoma accounts for 3% of all pediatric cancers.

This is a pretty good video for your teenage daughter!

It seems from the research on the news that a ban on tanning beds for teens is going to become a reality.  With all this push from the major health organizations I can see this going through in some form or another.  If you are a teen who likes to tan this might be a time to reconsider tanning.  If you feel you must have the glowing skin consider the Fake Bake below.  Otherwise lets get out the SPF and take care of ourselves!

Do you have an opinion about this?  Weigh in below.  Take the poll and leave a comment!

Tanning Bed Legislation

Do you think teens should be banned from indoor tanning?

See results

How bout some Fake Bake?


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    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

      I used tanning beds before trips in my younger days. With all the research on how bad the ultra violet rays are in them, I will no longer go. I will explain to my niece how dangerous it can be. Skin cancer is no laughing matter. Thanks for the great information, I didn't know about this possible ban.

    • profile image

      vikki 6 years ago

      Thing that stops sun burns and skin cancer while we're on holiday or live in a very hot place, the best things is has been proved that one table spoon of tomatoe puree ( eeuuughh ) helps and prevents skin cancer. It isn't soo delicious but it actually helps,you can put it on bread etc..get a nice sun tan and be safe :) :P

      PS. SUNBEDS! they will never bann them, the bussiness is too great for owners and profits that they're making is unbelievably massive so...forget about them being closed down. Goevrnment may increase the age of allowance for teen to 18' in UK instead of 16 but HEEY... 1/2 of my YR12 class goes...n probs 1/3 of year 11's ... lol

    • profile image

      kelly 6 years ago

      Anything in moderation is fine. I really don't care for the government or any other group having such a big say in our lives. A vitamin d deficieny also can lead to cancer. And the best way of course to get your vitmin d is from the sun.

    • lmoynihan082 profile image

      lmoynihan082 6 years ago from ireland

      Certainly children and teenagers should not be allowed to use sunbeds but as the video explained it does no favours for anybody especially under the age of 35.Interesting hub.

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 6 years ago from California

      Honestly, it's not teens we should be worried about: it's children. I have seen with my own eyes, five year olds taken by their parents to these tanning salons! It's insane I know, but I worry much more about these kids going in rather than some 16 year olds.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Tanning beds in salons are banned in the UK for the under-16s, but unfortunately this is not enforced often enough and most teenagers can still get their tans. Personally, I think that they should be banned for any use, except in medical facilities, full stop as they are dangerous. Interesting hub

    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 6 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Yes, I agree. We need to protect our children and teens are children. My mother tanned for years this way, she had skin cancer removed from her arm in a serious way. I know it was from tanning. Very serious situations. Thanks for taking the time to put this out. Cudos.

    • profile image

      Garnetbird 6 years ago

      My cousin uses these beds all year long in Ohio--I have always been concerned about its safety. Good HUB!!

    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

      It took me two years and many news reports to convince my daughter to stop tanning.

    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      I think a tanning bed tan in moderation is fine. Once you get the base tan stop going. I live in Florida and its sunny year around. I don't believe a teen should expose themselves to this type of danger. The reason is they don't know when enough is enough. Great hub voted up.

      Sweet wishes Rhonda