When you think of the youth in California, sun kissed skin and beautiful beaches probably come to mind. Even though people can lie out on the beach, the most popular form of getting the “perfect tan” comes from tanning beds. Here you can get a quick tan without any tan lines year round. It is extremely common for teenage girls, and some guys, to go to the tanning salon. But this will soon come to an end for teens. Gov. Jerry Brown announced that beginning January 1, 2012 children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use indoor tanning beds in the Golden State.
California is the first state to enforce this law. According to CNN this has been a law that Senator Ted Lieu has been trying to pass since 2007. About the passing of the law Lieu stated “I feel great! I believe it will help save lives and prevent unnecessary suffering.” Tanning beds are proven to cause cancer and boost the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Studies have shown that people who use indoor tanning beds have a 74% higher chance of developing melanoma than those who do not do indoor tanning.
Lead researcher DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor at the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota stated, “People who tan indoors are 2-3 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who have never tanned indoors. “
What is unsettling is despite the risk of developing a terminal illness people (in particular teenage girls) were still using tanning beds regularly. This is because having bronze skin is linked to a higher level of attractiveness; therefore people are more willing to ignore the risks involved. Lieu believes that a higher age limit is needed for the tanning beds because the effects of the uv rays are cumulative and increase the risk of developing melanoma with time and each use, especially if the exposure begins at a younger age.
Even if you are not a teen, you should still try to tan safely and steer clear of tanning beds. There are safe alternatives to achieving a sexy glow such as bronzers, spray tanning, sprays in bottles, and lotions.
Lieu pointed out that Snookie from hit MTV reality show Jersey Shore claimed she has switched to spray tanning
Spray tanning has not been proven to be toxic and is still legal for teens to use. According to the American Academy of Dermatology “the most effective sunless tanning products contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. DHA is a colorless chemical (it is derived from glycerin) that interacts with the amino acids in dead skin cells to produce a brown color change. Since these dead skin cells are constantly being shed, the color change produced by DHA usually lasts about five to seven days. DHA is not absorbed through the skin into the body and it has no known toxicity”.
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