California Governor Edmund G. Brown signed into law a prohibition in the use of indoor tanning devices for Californians under the age of 18.
This legislation was proposed and supported by the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and AIM at Melanoma, a non-profit organization dedicated to melanoma research and education.
In 2002, the United States Department of Health and Human Services proclaimed that ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, is a known carcinogen. Yet, nearly 30 million people, more than 2 million of whom are teenagers, tan indoors in the United States annually.
Evidence from several studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
In fact, studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning.
“Having personally experienced the devastating consequences of melanoma with my daughter, it became a top priority of mine to try to minimize the impact of this disease, especially among young women,” – Valerie Guild, co-founder and president AIM Melanoma.
“This legislation is a cornerstone step to protect young women from the onset of melanoma that is correlated with their use of indoor tanning beds.” More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
“California is expected to have 8,250 new cases of melanoma, which is approximately 12 percent of the national number of new cases.” – Ann F. Haas past president California Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
“Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, three percent per year since 1992 in those ages 15 to 39. ”
AIM at Melanoma, founded in memory of Charlie Guild, who died of melanoma at the age of 26 and Jim Schlipmann, who died from the disease at 44, is the largest international melanoma foundation focused on melanoma research, patient advocacy, legislation, education and awareness.
The foundation supports melanoma research efforts by hosting international research forums and is helping to create the first melanoma tissue bank, widely believed by the oncology community to be a key to major breakthroughs in melanoma research.