November 28, 2014
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Protect teens from health hazards of indoor tanning

To the Editor:

We support H7825 and S2322 which would ban the use of indoor tanning devices by children and adolescents under the age of 18. This legislation is designed to protect Rhode Island’s young people from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and is based on significant scientific evidence that indoor tanning is undeniably linked to an increased risk of developing the disease and other forms of skin cancer.
This legislation is needed now. A ban for minors is essential because parental consent laws are not working, and, according to a recent report released by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, indoor tanning salons are making false health claims and misleading their customers, especially minors. The Indoor Tanning Association, an umbrella group for the thousands of tanning salons in the United States, was barred in 2010 by the Federal Trade Commission from making false and misleading health claims regarding indoor tanning, claims that are nearly identical to those promoted by the owners of Sunkisst Tans in a recent letter to the Warwick Beacon.
Prohibiting the use of indoor tanning beds for all children and teens under the age of 18 is critical to preventing future skin cancers as survey data indicate that use of these devices increases with each year of adolescence. Opponents’ recent assertion that dermatologists would benefit financially from passage of this legislation is absurd and unfounded.
If the Rhode Island House of Representatives does not follow the lead of the State Senate and pass these bills, it will send a message to the entire country that Rhode Island is apathetic toward and reckless about the health of our children. We do not allow children to smoke tobacco, even if their parents provide consent. We should protect our children from other cancer-causing agents, such as UV radiation from indoor tanning devices.
We strongly urge the chairman of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, Representative Joseph McNamara, to do the right thing and bring H7825 and S2322 forward for a vote by the committee. It is our collective hope that he and the full committee will support this crucial legislation to help protect young people from the health risks associated with indoor tanning. If signed into law, this bill would potentially save lives.

Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD
President, American Academy of Dermatology Association
Jason Neustadter, MD
Melanoma Survivor, Member, American Academy of Dermatology Association &
Chief Resident in Dermatology, Brown University
Martin Weinstock, MD, FAAD
Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Epidemiology, Brown University
Lionel Bercovitch, MD, FAAD
Director of Pediatric Dermatology, Hasbro Children's Hospital &
President, Rhode Island Dermatology Society
Susan Weinkle, MD
President, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association
Brett M. Coldiron, MD, FAAD
President, American College of Mohs Surgery
Henry W. Clever, MD, FAAD
President, American Society for Mohs Surgery
Maria Garzon, MD
President, Society for Pediatric Dermatology
Robert Nicolay
Chair, Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation
Sandra Read, MD, FAAD
Co-Chair, National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention


Comments
7 comments on this item

All of these doctors to write one letter and not one of them will admit there are benefits to tanning. And where is the letter from Sunkisst Tans? I'd like to see it, but a search of the site turned up empty???

The science of photobiology, which studies the effects of light on life, was founded on studying the positive effects of sunlight. Indeed, the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine was awarded to Dr. Niels Finsen for his work treating the disease lupus vulgaris with ultraviolet light. While the indoor tanning industry in the United States promotes its services for cosmetic purposes, the fact remains that exposing the skin to ultraviolet light is the body’s primary means of producing vitamin D (which in turn is related to positive physiological effects). Exposure to UV light is also responsible for the production of endorphins and serotonin (which in turn is related to positive psychological effects).

Europeans started tanning indoors with sunlamps that emitted ultraviolet light as a therapeutic exercise to harness the positive psychological and physiological effects of UV exposure. Long before the first tanning facility was established in the United States in the late 1970s, the practice of visiting a "solaria” for the positive effects of UV light was widespread in Europe, particularly in the sun-deprived, northern countries. Although indoor tanning is considered a cosmetic exercise in the United States, the industry’s roots are therapeutic, and many Americans do in fact visit tanning facilities for that purpose

While indoor tanning is a cosmetic service, a well-known side effect of exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light is the production of vitamin D. Emerging evidence suggests that there may be an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in North America. Research also suggests that vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining good health. In light of this evidence, the Indoor Tanning Association believes that the health benefits of indoor tanning deserve further research.

Some people prefer to not spend a lot of time in the sun even if they live in a sunny climate. This is where an indoor tanning bed will come in handy. Tanning booths provide a degree of privacy that is not found on beaches, especially. Clothing is optional on a tanning bed and an all-over tan is possible versus tanning on the beach where swimwear is worn. Indoor tanning beds will give you the overall tan and privacy you desire. You will find as well, that indoor tanning beds will give you the self-confidence knowing that you will stand out from the everyday crowd. A tanning session can be a very enjoyable time where you can rest and relax for 20 minutes of peace and warmth. Why not get that sought-after tan today by visiting one of your local tanning bed salons and finding out for yourself what an enjoyable experience it can be!

We have a system to protect children....IT'S CALLED PARENTING. STOP THE NANNY STATE.

You're worried about tanning????? What!!! And the story found on this link ( http://a12iggymom.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/one-painters-brush-with-intolerance/ ) DOESN'T worry you??? Are you people totally insane? Since when is FAMILY a vile word, vile enough to make the principle at your high school force a young student to remove her mural she had created simply because the mural depicted a FAMILY!!! Are you even remotely aware of this? It is national news and has flown all over the nation. Or, is your paper run by democrats who silence things like this so you won't hear? Shame shame shame on you people for allowing political correctness destroy the very fabric of society...the family. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

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