No indoor tanning for children: study

People under the age of 18 should be banned from using tanning salons, according to a new study.

The study by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center says indoor tanning can more than double your risk of skin cancer.

The study is published in the Archives of Dermatology.

"Certain carcinogens are more of a risk to children than adults and (ultraviolet) light is one of those," says Dr. Robert Dellavalle, one of the study's authors. "Teens need special guidance in determining risk."

  • Fair skin
  • Red or blond hair
  • Light-coloured eyes
  • Easily sunburned when exposed to the sun
  • Having many moles, freckles or birthmarks
  • Working or playing outside
  • Being in the sun a lot as a child
  • Having had serious sunburn
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Trying to get a tan in the sun or through a sun lamp

  • Dellavalle's research team examined laws in France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

    Researchers compared laws in each country on limiting access to tanning salons to regulations on other known carcinogens, such as tobacco.

    In the U.S., Texas, Illinois and Wisconsin have laws against indoor tanning for pre-teens.

    The study says the ultraviolet light from tanning beds may be stronger than natural UV light.

    More than 3,500 people in Canada are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. About 800 die annually from the disease.

    The study discovered people who use tanning devices have 2.5 times the risk of squamous cell cancer and 1.5 times the risk of basal cell cancer.

    Dellavalle says government should consider regulations limiting the use of tanning salons.