Most operators of tanning facilities in Missouri, a state without indoor-tanning regulations, would allow children as young as 10 or 12 years old to use indoor-tanning devices, according to the study, “Practices of Unregulated Tanning Facilities in Missouri: Implications for Statewide Legislation
,” in the March 2013 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 25).
Study authors surveyed operators of 243 tanning facilities in Missouri via telephone regarding safety practices around indoor tanning. Eighty percent of operators claimed indoor tanning would prevent future sunburns and 43 percent claimed there were no risks associated with indoor tanning. Tanning bed use has been associated with a 1.5-fold increased risk of basal cell carcinoma
, a 2.5-fold increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma
and some studies have shown up to a threefold increase in the risk of melanoma
, particularly with use before 30 years of age.
The study’s authors conclude that tanning devices should be changed to either Class II or Class III medical devices that would require regulatory oversight of manufacturers. They also recommend legislation that would regulate minimum age and require safety information
be presented to potential clients.