The San Diego State University has recently conducted and presented a study arguing that USA legislation banning adolescents from tanning salons will be unsuccessful in limiting this practice.

The study also mentions that there are more aesthetic centres where solariums provide artificial tans in the major cities of the USA than there are Starbucks and McDonalds.

This observation has led the state of California to become the first state in the USA to attempt to limit of the use of artificial tanning appliances using UV rays by adolescents.

The study mentions that 27% of girls aged 17 last year had employed the appliances in question, in order to achieve an artificial tan. The majority of the United States have laws which ban the use of artificial tanning appliances by persons younger than 14. In Texas, these laws are more restrictive, banning the use of these appliances by persons who are less than 16.5 years old. 21 states, however, do not possess such laws.

Professor J. A. Mayer, one of the core conductors of the study, has focused the bulk of her 24-year work as a Professor in Public Health in research for the prevention of skin cancer. She has observed that the International Health Associated, the American Paediatric Academy and the American Board of Dermatology support the prohibition of the use of solarium appliances on persons younger than 18.

An article in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology notes that: “Melanoma is the most commonplace type of cancer found in adults between 25 and 29 years of age, and the second most commonplace type of cancer in persons between 15 and 29 years of age.”

A multitude of studies have verified the relationship between exposure to UV radiation and the development of skin cancer. In particular, exposure to UV rays via tanning appliances seems to carry an elevated risk of developing melanoma. The danger is even greater if these appliances are used by persons younger than 35.

On the other hand, those businesses who provide the public with artificial tanning appliances are responding to this clamour by claiming that each individual is free to make their own choices. They also argue that, as UV rays are radiated by the sun in case, these legislations may as well ban adolescents from exposing themselves to sunlight.

On the other hand, there are many who feel that adolescents are in most cases unable to responsibly judge the degree of their exposure to UV rays.

The state of California has until now banned the use of tanning appliances by person under the age of 14 while permitting their use by persons aged 14 to 18, provided they carried written permission from a parent or guardian.

The new legislation completely prohibits the use of tanning appliances by all persons younger than 18 years of age. The aforementioned study by the San Diego State University was conducted using 6.000 person aged 14-17 throughout the 100 largest cities of the USA. The aim of the study was to determine the consequences of artificial tanning for adolescents.