State Health Dept.: Indoor Tanning Dangerous to Teenage Girls

Created: 01/14/2014 10:39 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Minnesota Department of Health is putting out a warning of indoor tanning for teenage girls.

State health officials say despite warnings about serious health risks, a large percentage of high school girls are tanning indoor.  The state complied the information from the most recent Minnesota Student Survey.

Results show 34% of 11th grade white females reported they had tanned indoors in the last year, and more than half of them tanned indoors 10 or more times. "The survey underscores the importance of educating teenagers about the very real risks of tanning, one of which is increasing the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. 

The health department says indoor tanning beds deliver 10 to 15 times more ultraviolet radiation than natural sunlight, boosting the user's risk of developing melanoma by at least 59 percent. It also points to the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer which declared UV radiation from indoor tanning as a carcinogen. 

Dermatologist Rochelle Torgerson, M.D., Ph.D, and president of the Minnesota Dermatological Society said "We see many young women with melanoma on their torso, which may be the result of high-risk tanning behaviors such as indoor tanning."

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