Use of tanning beds by teen girls worries Minn. health officials

  • Article by: JEREMY OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2014 - 8:46 AM

In the quest to look “better, cuter, hotter,” a troubling number of teenage girls in Minnesota are exposing themselves to harmful levels of ultraviolet light with tanning beds and increasing their risks of skin cancer.

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UMD1983Jan. 14, 1411:39 AM

My cousin died from Melanoma, and it is about as cruel a disease as you can imagine. No one should use tanning beds because there is no safe level of exposure, and there's no such thing as getting a "base tan" to protect against burning. If you want color, use a spray or lotion, but don't risk your health for this.

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FrankLJan. 14, 1411:49 AM

Note how the question is worded: How many used a tanning bed in the last year. My guess is that much of this use is going before spring break to prevent being fried on the beach. Perhaps to bolster the case they should chart out hours of exposure on a tanning bed vs. the prevalence of cancer. That would make a more compelling case.

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rlundl02Jan. 14, 1411:51 AM

Any parent that allows their kid to use a Shake 'n' Bake is committing, at the very least neglect, in my opinion. It's in the early years that skin cancers form.

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ChambamJan. 14, 1412:09 PM

I was an indoor tanner during my entire teen years and into college. I heard all about the risks and my mom begged me to stop, but the tanning salons never required my parents permission. Now, as a 35-year old woman, I wished there had been a law to prevent me from doing the damage I did to my skin 20 years ago. It wasn't until I knew someone who died from skin cancer, that I really comprehended the risk I had been taking. Parents do have a responsibility to help their kids understand the risks, but sometimes we need laws for kids. We have laws regarding cigarette and tobacco sales for minors, I really don't see why this should be treated any differently.

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wingknutJan. 14, 1412:20 PM

Peer pressure and teens wanting to look good is so strong that they will risk their health.

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davehougJan. 14, 1412:30 PM

So are they safe or not? Seems like there should a single nation-wide answer by scientists. Either allow unrestricted use or limit to X hours a year for anyone.

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bugsy101Jan. 14, 1412:49 PM

As a melanoma survivor and parent of teens, I would support legislation banning the use of tanning beds for all minors. Vanity is not a good reason to risk your life.

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jastkeJan. 14, 1412:55 PM

Chambam is on target. Using tanning beds is a lot like smoking. It does nothing good for your health and can increase the risk of possibly fatal cancer. Stay away from them.

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dejadoodooJan. 14, 14 1:20 PM

Or, sign up for Health Insurance and tan to heart's content!

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FrankLJan. 14, 14 1:52 PM

Instead of the shrill argument " there is no safe exposure", how about we quantify the risk. From looking at my kids HS class, I would guess that only a minority of the girls are the regular users, while the rest use it a couple of times before vacation or a prom. You will get more results by working to reduce the cumulative exposure of the regular users than banning it for everyone.

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