If you watch MTV's "Jersey Shore" you know that laying in a tanning bed is a daily ritual for the guys. But did you know that tanning that way could be hazardous to your health?
Jersey Shore glamorizes tanning beds. Every day, the guys do their GTLs (Gym Tanning and Laundry) "to stay fresh and mint" as Mike, "The Situation" puts it. But we're finding out that being fresh and mint can lead to a deadly form of skin cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics is now asking teenagers be banned from tanning salons to reduce their risk of cancer reports the Associated Press.
Although indoor tanning is popular among teenage girls as well as guys, about 8,700 people died of melanoma last year and about 68,130 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed.
Melanoma is the most dangerous kind of skin cancer and the leading cause of death among skin cancer patients according to PubMed Health.
In a new policy statement, 60,000 pediatricians want tanning salons to close their doors to minors to protect them from skin cancer as stated by Thomson Reuters.
"There are more tanning facilities in the U.S. than there are Starbucks or McDonald's," said Dr. Sophie J. Balk, who helped write the new statement for the American Academy of Pediatrics. "More than a million visits are made every day." Dr. Balk said the American Academy of Pediatrics is lseeking legislation to prohibit kids from going to tanning salons.
The Indoor Tanning Association disagrees. "We're talking about getting a sun tan," said John Overstreet, the association's spokesman. "This is a decision best left for parents, not the government. Let parents make the decision."
More than 30 states currently regulate indoor tanning by minors. New York and Illinois are considering bills to ban anyone under 18 from tanning salons.