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Sun Protection Advocacy Group Endorses Tanning Bed Tax

Posted: January 26, 2010

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"The tanning industry has attempted to portray the proposed tax as a punitive measure against small business," Barrow said. "We do not seek punishment, we seek good health safeguards for susceptible, socially driven teen girls. In the absence of federal access restrictions, we seek to create an economic reason for young women to think twice before stepping into a tanning bed."

Barrow noted that a study by IARC also demonstrated that people who use tanning beds before age 30 increase their chance of developing melanoma by 75%.

In large powerful tanning units, the UVA irradiation intensity may be 10–15 times stronger than that of the midday sun. Such powerful sources of UVA radiations do not exist in nature. The UVA doses per unit of time received by the skin during a typical sunbed session are far higher than what is experienced during daily life or during sunbathing outdoors. "There is no such thing as a safe tan," Barrow said.

The Skin Cancer Foundation is spearheading a Congressional letter writing campaign urging Congress to pass the tanning tax. "We believe this is an important effort and deserving of public support," Barrow said.

Mary Barrow is the executive director of SunAWARE, a not-for-profit educational advocacy group. She is the creator of the SunAWARE acronym outlining simple steps to prevent and detect skin cancer and is the author of several books including Sun Protection for Life: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy and Beautiful Skin (New Harbinger Press).