Tanning by teens concerns Minnesota health officialsMuch to the dismay of health experts, getting a winter tan remains popular with white teenage girls in Minnesota, a survey shows.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Much to the dismay of health experts, getting a winter tan remains popular with white teenage girls in Minnesota, a survey shows.
This year’s Minnesota Student Survey showed 34 percent of 11th-grade white females had tanned indoors during the previous year, and more than half of those had done so 10 or more times, according to a state Department of Health news release.
It was the first time the tanning question had been asked in the annual survey.
The results concern health experts because indoor tanning beds deliver 10 to 15 times more ultraviolet than natural sunlight, boosting the risk of developing melanoma by 59 percent, the news release said.
A news release from the Minnesota Medical Association, whose president, Dr. Cindy Firkins Smith of Willmar, is a dermatologist, joined in the concern.
“Melanoma has increased exponentially in my practice,” Smith said in the news release. “I’ve diagnosed this terrifying cancer in many young patients and have had two 30-year-old women die of metastatic melanoma.”
The health department is launching a contest this month called UVideo Challenge, asking teens to create “short videos to share information on the dangers of tanning.”