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The state of Texas has recently passed legislation restricting the use of indoor tanning devices by minors. Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill into law recently that will prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all Texans under the age of 16.5 and will require in-person parental consent for those between the ages of 16.5 and 18. “The American Academy of Dermatology Association applauds the state of Texas for being the first in the nation to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all children and adolescents under the age of 16.5—the most restrictive law in the country,” said dermatologist Evan Farmer, MD, FAAD, vice president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “We commend Governor Perry, Representative Solomons and the other members of the Texas legislature for their efforts to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer by protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning.” The United States Department of Health and Human Services has stated 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. Indoor tanning before the age of 35 has been associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Limiting exposure to UV radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, is the best way to reduce the risk of skin cancer. “Helping children develop healthy habits and avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation will decrease their risk of skin cancer and other potential hazards such as eye damage, aging skin and immune suppression,” said Dr. Farmer. “Texas’ leadership on this issue will serve as a model for other states to improve their laws and regulations on this critical public health issue.” The American Academy of Dermatology(AAD), founded in 1938, is one of the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. A sister organization to the AAD, the American Academy of Dermatology Association is the resource for government affairs, health policy and practice information for dermatologists, and plays a major role in formulating socioeconomic policies that can enhance the quality of dermatologic care. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin. For more information, go to www.aad.org.
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