Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation to prevent minors from using tanning facilities. Rhode Island now joins the many other states that have adopted similar laws to protect youth from the harms of ultraviolet radiation.
Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, has been linked to indoor tanning. Each year, more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer, including both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, are linked to indoor tanning in the U.S. alone. A scientific paper entitled Recent Tanning Bed Use: A Risk Factor for Melanoma stated that sun or UV radiation is one of the primary causal factors in the development of melanoma and that indoor tanning increases one’s risk of melanoma. Another study found that individuals who have used a tanning bed 10 or more times in their lives have a 34% increased risk of developing melanoma compared to those who have never used tanning beds. It is estimated that the annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion. Minors, amongst whom tanning is especially dangerous and prevalent, should be restricted from using indoor tanning devices to help protect them from the dangers of skin cancer associated with tanning at a young age.