Skin cancer rates are rising in the United States. Changes in societal norms, the desire for “a healthy tan,” and the escalating use of indoor tanning devices are factors contributing to more Americans being exposed to ever-increasing amounts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Growing scientific evidence supports the long held consensus that increased UV exposure increases rates of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. The Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act of 2011, introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York, addresses aspects of this growing public safety problem. House Resolution 1676 asks whether the current classification of tanning beds is appropriate based on the known risks, whether current performance standards are adequate to improve public safety, and if the Food and Drug Administration can act on their own recommendations made in 2008. The dermatology community would prefer an outright ban on nonmedical use of UV radiation, but barring that, current legislation should be changed to increase the public’s awareness of the risks of indoor tanning, enhance compliance with safety measures that are in place, and change any safety measures that are not congruent with the mounting evidence of the relationship between tanning bed use and the development of skin cancers.
Katrina Nice Masterson, RN, FNP-BC, DCNP, Dermatology Nurses’ Association and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Janet Thorlton, PhD, RN, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Katrina Nice Masterson, RN, FNP-BC, DCNP, Purdue University, Johnson Hall School of Nursing, 502 North University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2069. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org