Study: Education About Sunbathing and Tanning Bed Risks Effective

[img_assist|nid=194839|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=250|height=183]Sep 21, 2010 (GreenAnswers) – Educating adolescents about the dangers of lying out in the sun and using tanning beds is an effective means of changing their behavior, according to U.S. researchers.

A recently completed study looked at the tanning behavior of 1,500 U.S. boys and girls aged 11 through 18. The study took half the group and educated them about the benefits of using sunless tanning products as an alternative to laying out and using a tanning bed. Two months later, this group reported a 33 percent decrease in sunbathing activities versus 10 percent in the control group.

Educating adolescents about the dangers of sunbathing is a major public policy issue. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with more than one million cases each year. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, kills 8,700 people every year.

Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Simply avoiding tanning beds, limiting exposure to the sun and using sunscreen, are very effective means of decreasing the risk.

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