Fighting the dangers of teenage tanning


To the Editor:

As a mother of a teenage girl, I understand the tremendous pressures young women face every day. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfect women with perfect hair, makeup and bodies. Those bodies are often tanned and toned. And there’s a myth that looking tan is looking good. That last myth is really quite dangerous. 

Scientific research shows the use of indoor tanning devices before age 35 increases a person’s odds of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by a whopping 59 percent!

What’s more, the World Health Organization has classified indoor tanning devices in the same category as tobacco and asbestos.

Knowing all this, I’m glad to see Rhode Island lawmakers are taking action to protect youth from the dangers of UV radiation. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee recently voted in support of common sense legislation preventing youth under 18 from indoor tanning.

There are a lot of pressures teenagers face today, but few of them are so easily mitigated as that of limiting tanning bed use to adults only. Join us in Providence on May 2 at the Rhode Island State House in Providence to tell your story and encourage your lawmaker to support this effort. Learn more and register at www.acscan.org/RIDATSH.

Karen McCahey

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Volunteer



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