MRF Blog

Indoor Tanning Association Ends Operations

August 2, 2017 | Categories: News, Policy, Prevention

Statement from the Melanoma Research Foundation

This week, the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) announced that it will cease operations and dissolve the organization. For decades, the ITA has worked to support and promote the indoor tanning industry despite overwhelming evidence of the dangers of tanning. In their announcement, the ITA says the industry has decreased in size by 50% due to increased taxes on tanning, new laws that limit access to indoor tanning by children and teens and unrelenting opposition in the media. As the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma, the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) enthusiastically welcomes this news. The dangers of tanning are well known. In fact, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies tanning devices in their highest cancer-risk category. Utilizing similar tactics as the tobacco industry, tanning salons often target teens with messages that in order to be beautiful you must be tan, with no mention of the damaging and potentially fatal side effects. The MRF has persistently advocated for policies to restrict tanning bed use among minors and to educate people of every age about the known dangers of tanning.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and as many as 90 percent of melanomas are estimated to be caused by UV exposure from either the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds. Every hour of every day, one American dies from melanoma. In 2017, over 160,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma.

The MRF is proud of its work on behalf of melanoma patients, survivors and advocates to reduce the use of tanning beds. Young people who use tanning beds are 8 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who have ever used them, and the MRF will continue to work toward breaking the stigma that skin must be tanned to be beautiful. The ITA ending operations is a positive step towards reducing the rate of melanoma, but our work is not done and we will not slow until we have completely eradicated this disease.

The Melanoma Research Foundation is strongly committed to consistent advocacy on behalf of the melanoma community. Your tax-deductible support will continue to make this work possible.

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