Someone pass me the aloe — I’m feeling burned just reading about the results of a new study by the Centers for Disease Control. Not only have half of adults under 30 had a sunburn in the last year, but about a third of white women between 18 and 21 admits to going tanning 20 times on average in a year.
The Associated Press looks at the CDC’s findings, which used numbers from a 2010 survey of adults between 18 and 29. The fact that so many people got sunburned shows that we’re regressing in our skin care, and aren’t scared off by warnings of skin cancer. In 2005, 45% of people reported at least one sunburn, which had been progress from 50% in the 2000 study.
“I don’t know that we’re making any headway,” said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer. Researchers add that more people are reporting using sunscreen, but perhaps they’re not putting enough on or doing an adequate job of covering their bodies.
Beyond that data, the CDC also found that women in their 20s are going to tanning salons almost twice a month on average. Their survey on the use of tanning beds, booths or sun lamps is a bit shocking –Â while 6% of adults overall admitted to going tanning indoors in the previous year, among young white women ages 18 to 21, the rate was 32%. That’s up 5% from the 2010 survey.
Proponents of the indoor tanning industry don’t want their business to be linked to skin cancer, even though tanning devices have been classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization.
“Saying categorically that (ultraviolet light) exposure is harmful and should be avoided is like saying that water causes drowning, and therefore we should avoid water. It’s a totally misleading oversimplification,” said Joseph Levy, executive director of International Smart Tan Network.
Let’s hope that anyone who’s seen that super tan lady in the news recently might be put off the tanning bed from now on.
CDC: Young adults ignoring skin-cancer warnings [The Associated Press]