10 Reasons States Should Pass Laws to Protect Youth From UV Exposure

  1. Skin cancer is strongly linked to exposure to UV radiation.[1]
  2. In the United States, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and most cases are preventable.[2]
  3. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and is one of the most common types of cancer for young adults and teens.[3], [4]
  4. Skin cancer treatment is costly – estimated at $8.1 billion in the United States to treat melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.[5]
  5. The World Health Organization considers indoor tanning to be carcinogenic to humans. It is ranked at the same level as asbestos, cigarette smoke, plutonium, radon, gas, and radium.[6]
  6. Tanning bans for minors work in reducing the number of youth who tan.[7]
  7. The FTC has found that claiming indoor tanning has health benefits constitutes unfair or deceptive advertising.[8]
  8. 1 blistering sunburn event during childhood more than doubles the chance to develop skin cancer later in life.[9]
  9. Regular sunscreen users are 75% less likely to be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer.[10]
  10. Half of school districts nationwide do not have a policy that allows students to possess and apply sunscreen at school.[11]


[1] Armstrong BK, Kricker A. The epidemiology of UV induced skin cancer. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2001;63:8–18.
[2] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2018.  Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2018.
[3] Ibid
[4] Weir HK, Marrett LD, Cokkinides V, et al. Melanoma in adolescents and young adults (ages 15–39 years): United States, 1999–2006. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011;65(5 suppl 1):S38-S49.
[5] Guy GP, Machlin SR, Ekwueme DU, Yabroff KR. Prevalence and costs of skin cancer treatment in the U.S., 2002-2006 and 2007-2011.Am J Prev Med 2014; 104(4):e69-e74. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2014.08.036.
[6] International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Part D: Solar and Ultraviolet Radiation. 100D. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2012. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100D/mono100D.pdf. Accessed 4/13/18.
[7] Guy GP, Berkowitz Z, Jones SE, et al. State indoor tanning laws and adolescent indoor tanning. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(4):e69-e74.
[8] File No. 082-3159; United States of America Federal Trade Commission Complaint in the Matter of Indoor Tanning Association, a Corporation.
[9] Dennis, Leslie K. et al. “Sunburns and Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma, Does Age Matter: A Comprehensive MetaAnalysis.” Annals of epidemiology 18.8 (2008): 614–627.
[10] Stern RS, Weinstein MC, Baker SG. Risk Reduction for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer With Childhood Sunscreen Use. Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(5):537–545. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660170067022
[11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chapter 8. Safe and healthy school environment. In: Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2012. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2013: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/shpps/2012/pdf/shpps-results_2012.pdf.

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