“The American Academy of Dermatology Association applauds the state of California for being the first in the nation to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all children and adolescents under the age of 18 — the most restrictive law in the country,” said dermatologist Ronald L. Moy, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “We commend Gov. Brown, Sen. Ted Lieu and the other members of the California legislature for their efforts to help reduce the future incidence of skin cancer by protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning.”
This legislation was proposed and supported by the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and AIM at Melanoma, a non-profit organization dedicated to melanoma research and education. “These two organizations were tireless in their efforts to support this bill and educate legislators about how this law will help children and teens decrease their future risk of skin cancer,” said Dr. Moy. “The American Academy of Dermatology Association was pleased to support this endeavor.”
The United States Department of Health and Human Services proclaimed in 2002 that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, is a known carcinogen. Yet, nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens.
Evidence from several studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. In fact, studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning.
“Having personally experienced the devastating consequences of melanoma with my daughter, it became a top priority of mine to try to minimize the impact of this disease, especially among young women,” said Valerie Guild, co-founder and president of AIM at Melanoma. “This legislation is a cornerstone step to protect young women from the onset of melanoma that is correlated with their use of indoor tanning beds.”
More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
“In 2011, California is expected to have 8,250 new cases of melanoma, which is approximately 12 percent of the national number of new cases, which is 70,230,” said dermatologist Ann F. Haas, MD, FAAD, past president of the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, 3 percent per year since 1992 in those ages 15 to 39. We pushed for this legislation in the hopes of stemming that rise and encouraging other states to follow California’s lead and prohibit the use of tanning devices by minors to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the U.S.”
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. A sister organization to the Academy, the American Academy of Dermatology Association is the resource for government affairs, health policy and practice information for dermatologists, and plays a major role in formulating policies that can enhance the quality of dermatologic care. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1 (888) 462-DERM (3376) or visit www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).
AIM at Melanoma, founded in memory of Charlie Guild, who died of melanoma at the age of 26, and Jim Schlipmann, who died from the disease at 44, is the largest international melanoma foundation focused on melanoma research, patient advocacy, legislation, education and awareness. The foundation supports melanoma research efforts by hosting international research forums and is helping to create the first melanoma tissue bank, widely believed by the oncology community to be a key to major breakthroughs in melanoma research. Because melanoma is the second-most-common cancer in 15-29 year olds and the rate of melanoma in young women 15-39 has increased 50 percent over the last 30 years, AIM at Melanoma continues to support the passage of indoor tanning legislation restricting minors’ access to tanning beds. For more information, visit www.AIMatMelanoma.org, the most comprehensive Web site available to the melanoma community and public at large.