Skin Cancer Risk for 250 Thousand Children Using Sunbeds
Author: BMJ-British Medical Journal
Synopsis and Key Points:
Serious risk of developing malignant melanoma skin cancer using sunbeds or tanning beds.
Main DigestAn estimated quarter of a million 11-17 year olds in England are being put at increased risk of developing malignant melanoma by using sunbeds, warn researchers in a letter to this week's BMJ.
Catherine Thomson from Cancer Research UK and Professor Chris Twelves from Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine & St James's University Hospital in Leeds, say that sun-beds raise serious issues, and they call for urgent legislation to stop children in England using sun-beds, as is already in place in Scotland and proposed for Wales.
They point to two studies, recently carried out by Cancer Research UK involving over 9000 children aged 11-17 in England.
The first, a national prevalence study of 3101 children, established that 6% of 11-17 year olds had used a sunbed, the average age of first use being just 14. Sunbed use was more common in older children and girls, in the north (11%) compared with the rest of England (4%) and among deprived communities. More than a quarter (26.5%) said that they used a sunbed at least once a month.
In the second study of 6209 children in six cities, sunbed use was highest in Liverpool and Sunderland, reaching 51% and 48% respectively among 15-17 year old girls, with over 40% using them weekly.
Supervision of sunbed use was poor. Nationally, of those children who used sunbeds, 23.2% did so at home. The remaining three quarters had used tanning/beauty salons or gym/leisure centers, where more than one in five (21.8%) had been unsupervised. Only 11.4% of children who were supervised were warned of possible harms.
This rate of sunbed use would lead to more than an estimated quarter of a million 11-17 year olds being put at increased risk of developing malignant melanoma, say the authors.
National legislation to limit access to sunbed salons to those over 18, and close down unsupervised or coin operated salons, is required to stop more children being put at unnecessary risk of developing skin cancer, they conclude.
- 1 - Melanoma: ABCDE and The Ugly Duckling : Bruce Kaler M.D. (2009/02/21)
- 2 - Earlier Detection of Melanoma Advances : American Chemical Society (2010/08/12)
- 3 - Skin Cancer in America: Facts and Statistics : Milt Rodriguez (2011/01/28)
- 4 - Indoor Tanning Unsafe So Tanning Tax Imposed : American Academy of Dermatology (2011/07/01)
- 5 - Effects of Sunlight and Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) on Human Skin : Disabled World (2013/03/07)
- 6 - Millennials Fail to Understand Dangers of Tanning : Oregon State University (2018/04/25)
- 7 - Merkel Cell Carcinoma: Definition, Statistics, Risk Factors and Treatment : Thomas C. Weiss (2015/02/20)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.
• Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.