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Schaumburg, U.S.A. – The City of Chicago City Council approved Alderman Debra Silverstein’s ordinance to prohibit minors under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds at Chicago salons. This important action is based on significant scientific evidence that indoor tanning is undeniably linked to increased risk of developing melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
“The American Academy of Dermatology Association is proud to have supported this ordinance and commends Alderman Silverstein and the City of Chicago for being leaders in the fight against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancers,” said Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA). “A ban on indoor tanning for minors is critical to preventing skin cancer. Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds. Prohibiting minors’ access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues into adulthood.”
More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. The American Cancer Society estimates one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In Illinois, approximately 2,460 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year, making the state the eighth highest in number of new melanoma cases in the U.S. An estimated 360 people in Illinois will die this year from melanoma.
In addition to the AADA’s support, the ordinance also was supported by the American Cancer Society, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, the Chicago Department of Health, the Illinois Dermatologic Society, Skin of Steel and AIM at Melanoma.
“This ordinance will protect young people who do not fully understand that they are hurting themselves when they tan,” said Dr. Siegel. “Prevention is one of the most valuable tools that we have as dermatologists. We need to continue educating patients about the risks of indoor tanning and encouraging healthy decisions to help prevent skin cancer.”
The United States Department of Health and Human Services proclaimed in 2002 that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, is a known carcinogen. Yet, nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens.