NORWELL, Mass., Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF) commends lawmakers in Massachusetts for passing legislation to protect children from the dangers of indoor tanning which can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. The House overwhelmingly passed the bill S. 1994, "An Act to Further Regulate Tanning Facilities" by a vote of 146 to 8 on January 27, 2016. The bill was introduced by Senator Timilty (Walpole) and passed unanimously by the Senate 38 to 0 last September. Once Governor Baker signs the bill, Massachusetts will join 13 states plus the District of Columbia in banning indoor tanning for children under 18.
"Today Massachusetts's lawmakers took a strong stand against skin cancer by passing legislation that prohibits indoor tanning for minors and protects children from a deadly disease," said Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, Executive Director, Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation. "Indoor tanning is just one risk factor for skin cancer, but we will not reduce skin cancer deaths until we eliminate the known acquired risk factors for the disease. I am thrilled with the passage of this important legislation."
In 2009, the World Health Organization classified indoor tanning as a Class I Carcinogen based on the strong link between indoor tanning and skin cancer. Researchers found that indoor tanning before age 35 raised the risk of melanoma by 59% and before age 25 raised the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 102%. In 2013, the Center for Disease Control reported that 13% of high school students had indoor-tanned in the past year, including over 27% of 12th grade females and almost 31% of non-Hispanic white females.
The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed national restrictions on the use of indoor tanning devices by minors. The proposed FDA regulation was published in the Federal Register on December 22, 2015 and it acknowledges the harmful effects of tanning devices. With skin cancer rates skyrocketing and one person dying every 45 minutes from the disease, lawmakers and federal agencies need to protect children from the known risks associated with indoor tanning.
"Tanning bans are consistent with other policies that protect the health of minors from harmful products, substances, and procedures such as tobacco, alcohol and tattooing," said Maura Flynn, Advocacy Coordinator, Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation. "Approval of this legislation underscores Massachusetts's commitment to skin cancer awareness and prevention."
About the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation
The Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF), a non-profit educational foundation, was established in 2003 to teach children and their caretakers safe and proven methods of sun protection and skin cancer prevention. Our aim is to reduce the incidence and impact of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, on families and society. Our goal is to make all children SunAWARE. CMPF has developed the SunAWARE Children's Program to focus attention on the need to teach "prevention" or "sun protection." CMPF designed the program to be fun and informative while teaching children the five simple SunAWARE action steps. Providing children with a better understanding of UV intensity and sun sensitivity, as well as proper sun protection and skin cancer recognition will help them to achieve these action steps. Our goal is to prevent skin cancer, one child at a time. Please visit www.melanomaprevention.org for more information.
SOURCE Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation