Study: Age restrictions on tanning could save lives

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For years, doctors have been warning about the dangers of tanning beds. But for the first time, we’re getting a look at how many lives could have been saved if there was an age restriction on using them.

Melanoma is a killer. In fact, it is the most common fatal cancer among young women.

A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows 61,839 melanoma cases and 6,735 deaths could have been prevented over the lifetime of the more than 61.2 million kids age 14 and younger in the U.S.

The price tag on medical care for the same time period: $342.9 million.

A year ago, the Food and Drug Administration proposed an age restriction of 18 on indoor tanning. In the new study, researchers estimated the proposal would cut indoor tanning in the U.S. by 29 percent.

Doctors supporting the study hope the numbers will push the FDA to make the age restriction a reality.

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