(NBC News) The Food and Drug Administration has proposed banning minors from using indoor tanning beds.
The move is unprecedented, and is meant to try to control what experts call a skin cancer epidemic caused by too much Ultra Violet exposure.
More than a million kids and teenagers under age 18 visit tanning salons each year in the United States.
“The radiation you get in a tanning bed is 10 to 15 times stronger than what you get from natural sunlight,” warns Dr. Darrell Rigel of the American Academy of Dermatology. “That’s why you tan faster in a tanning bed.”
They also harm skin faster, according to doctors.
The effects of UV radiation accumulate over time, so children and teens who tan often are more likely to have skin damage later in life.
The American Academy of Dermatology says the risk of developing the deadly form of skin cancer called melanoma rises by 59-percent after a visit to a tanning salon, and the rate of melanoma has risen 200-percent since the 1970s.
“Now we commonly see women in their 20s with melanoma and the one factor they’re doing differently is almost every one of those young women has spent extensive time in a tanning bed,” Dr. Rigel says.
The FDA plan would also require adults to sign forms acknowledging the health risks before using tanning beds.
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