Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159 #546672-00090

Submission Number:
Victoria Elliott
Dermatology Nurses' Association
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159
February 24, 2010 Federal Trade Commission RE: Proposed Consent Agreement in the matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 0823159 To Whom It May Concern, The Dermatology Nurses' Association is a non-profit, professional nursing organization, committed to sharing knowledge and expertise in regards to dermatologic issues. Our organization feels strongly that indoor tanning increases one's risk of skin cancer. Representatives of our Advocacy and Health Policy Committee have testified before state legislatures supporting this belief. We have all witnessed advertisements that tout indoor tanning as a safe alternative to sun exposure. Many advertisements indicate that indoor tanning eliminates sunburns despite studies that show the contrary. We are very concerned about children and their exposure to excessive amounts of UV rays via indoor tanning. A study by Hamlet and Kennedy published in the Journal of Public Health in 2004 found that 48 per cent of children surveyed expressed a desire to use a tanning bed and 7 per cent had actually used one in the last 6 months. In addition, 30% admitted that they had suffered sore skin or sore eyes after indoor tanning. This combined with the finding by Strouse, reported in the in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2005, indicating that melanoma in children had increased by 3% annually between 1979 and 2001 is alarming. The Dermatology Nurses Association has implemented a SunAWARE campaign to teach our patients and the community about proper sun protection and skin cancer detection. We are very concerned about the false advertisements and claims made by indoor tanning industry because we know that children tend to believe what they read. We recognize that there is an unrelenting epidemic of skin cancer and a population of all ages seeking a tan. We realize that we must work together in order to combat this social norm contributing to rising skin cancer rates and loss of life.With one American dying every hour from skin cancer we must dispute false advertisements about unsafe health practices. We applaud the Federal Trade Commissions' efforts to hold the indoor tanning industry accountable for their claims. The growing body of science clearly indicates that there is no safety in indoor tanning. Thank you for this opportunity to make this public statement. Attached for your reference are the DNA's Position Statement on Indoor Tanning, and an article I co-authored regarding teen perceptions of sun tanning, tips to educate them, and the role of parents in assuring their teen's sun safety. Sincerely, Maryellen Maguire-Eisen RN, MSN DNA Board Member, on behalf of the Board of Directors