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    Teens, young women still tanning

    Schaumburg, Ill. — Despite public awareness campaigns warning about the risks of tanning, a large portion of young Caucasian women still use sun beds or intentionally tan outdoors, results of an American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) survey suggest.

    The online survey reached more than 3,800 white, non-Hispanic females ages 14 to 22. Among the results, 32 percent of respondents said they had used a tanning bed in the previous year. Of those respondents, 25 percent said they used a tanning bed at least weekly, on average. More than 80 percent of respondents said they had frequently or occasionally tanned outdoors in the past year.

    Results also showed that 18- to 22-year-olds were nearly twice as likely to tan indoors (40 percent) than 14- to 17-year-olds (22 percent).

    In a prepared statement, AAD President Ronald L. Moy, M.D., said, “Our survey underscores the importance of educating young women about the very real risks of tanning, as melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — is increasing faster in females 15 to 29 years old than in males of the same age group. In fact, most young women with melanoma are developing it on their torso, which may be the result of high-risk tanning behaviors such as indoor tanning.”

    Both the Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization have declared UV radiation from sources such as the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps to be a known carcinogen. Studies show indoor tanning before age 30 increases the lifetime risk of melanoma by 75 percent.

    Bill Gillette
    Bill Gillette is a freelance writer based in Richmond Heights, Ohio.

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