By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Washington University study is concerning. The report looked at 243 Missouri tanning salons and what they found was dramatic: Forty-three percent claimed there were no risks to tanning. Sixty-five percent said they would allow children as young as 10 or 12 to tan. Eighty percent stated tanning would prevent future sunburns, and only 19 percent advocated sunscreen use.
The researchers made anonymous calls and asked pointed questions. None of the facilities asked if the caller had any restrictions to tanning and only 22 percent informed surveyors to do a skin exam prior to tanning, a current FDA guideline.
There were some positives: Eighty-five percent did say you had to wear eye protection. Due to the known risks of UV rays and tanning — increased skin cancer, eye damage, premature skin aging — the authors call for state legislation of tanning beds as medical devices, which would allow for far stricter regulation.