Updated: 01/14/2014 10:49 PM
Created: 01/14/2014 10:45 PM WDIO.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota health officials said Tuesday they are worried about the number of white teenage girls using tanning beds, which is putting them at risk of getting skin cancer.
According to the Minnesota Student Survey, compiled by the state Health Department, slightly more than one-third of white 11th-grade girls in Minnesota said they have used a tanning bed within the past year. Among that group, the survey found more than half said they tanned at least 10 times in the past 12 months.
Among white 11th-grade boys in Minnesota, only 5 percent used a tanning bed during the last year, the survey showed.
This is the first year the survey has addressed use of tanning beds by teens, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/KhyJoB ) reported.
"The survey underscores the importance of educating teenagers about the very real risks of tanning, one of which is increasing the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," Minnesota health commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in a statement.
Indoor tanning beds deliver 10 to 15 times more ultraviolet radiation than natural sunlight, increasing the user's risk of developing melanoma by at least 59 percent, according to state health officials.
Melanoma is "a terrible cancer that can rob young adults of years of their life," said University of Minnesota associate professor DeAnn Lazovich, a leading researcher on indoor tanning and melanoma at the School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center. "Sadly, we do not know how to prevent many cancers. But, we do know that avoiding ultraviolet exposure can prevent many melanomas."
The Virginia-based Indoor Tanning Association, which represents indoor tanning manufacturers, distributors and facility owners, contends a "growing body of science produced by independent medical professionals" shows the health benefits of regular, moderate exposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or from a tanning bed.
The association also believes that parents, and not the government, should determine whether youngsters can use tanning beds.
In Minnesota, in-person parental permission is needed for anyone under 16 to use a commercially operated tanning bed.
In an effort to alert teens to the dangers of indoor tanning, the state Health Department is promoting a contest. The UVideo Challenge calls on teens to create short videos about the dangers of tanning.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Touchstone Award Finalist: SOAR Career Solutions and CORP
A program that helps people transition back to society after prison has been recognized for its good work, by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.
Wisconsin Man Pedals for Pipeline Awareness
An 80-year old Wisconsin man is boarding his bike and traveling across 16 counties in Wisconsin to raise awareness to what he sees as the threats Enbridge pipelines could have on public safety and the environment.
Folks Rock Out To Support Breast Cancer Survivors
Breast cancer survivors and their supporters were rocking out for a cause Sunday. The event was organized by Circle of Hope. It's a non-profit that supports breast cancer patients by helping them financially.
1 Four Mandy: UMD Retires Former Softball Player Matula's Jersey
The University of Minnesota-Duluth retired former softball player Mandy Matula's jersey at halftime of the school's homecoming football game Saturday afternoon.
Cloquet Man Suffers Serious Injuries in Rollover
A 46-year old Cloquet man suffered serious injuries early Saturday morning after his vehicle rolled several times, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.