The Surgeon General of the US has asked people to stop the practice of tanning and visiting tanning salons and protect their skin from the harmful rays of the sun by using sunscreen, shade and hats instead. The health report was made public by Boris Lushniak, the stand-in Surgeon General on Tuesday. He said that a major health problem that the country is facing at the moment is that of skin cancer,which is caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays – both outside as well as inside.
The report comes on the heels of the declaration made by the Food and Drug Administration that requires warning signs – prohibiting the use by people less than 18 years of age – on lamps and beds used for tanning purposes. According to facts and figures available, about five million Americans in the country undergo skin cancer treatments each year. The cost of their treatment is reported to be to the tune of $8.1 billion. Of several cases related to skin cancer, about sixty-three thousandcases are due to melanoma,of which 6,000 are directly associated with indoor tanning.
In 2009, the WHO described indoor tanning as carcinogenic. In his interview, the Surgeon General has called on other states to ban the practice of indoor tanning by young teenagers and impose certain restrictions on such practices. Tim Turnham from the Melanoma Research Foundation said that the information released on Tuesday is a big step forward in the battle against skin cancer.