CHICAGO (AP) - A study found that nearly a third of white teenage girls in the United States have used tanning booths at least three times, suggesting an alarming number of teens are ignoring the dangers of skin cancer for the sake of sporting a good tan.
28 percent of teenage girls and 7 percent of boys reported using tanning booths three or more times, the nationally representative study found. 47 percent of girls age 18 and 19 reported use that frequent.
Indoor tanning is most popular in the Midwest, where sunny weather is limited, and the South, where heat and humidity might make outdoor tanning uncomfortable.
The study's lead author, Case Western researcher Catherine Demko, said there's evidence that indoor tanning might contribute to the risk for malignant melanoma, the most serious kind of skin cancer.
Many teens are attracted to tanning booths because salons promote them as being safer than natural sunlight.
The Indoor Tanning Association, which represents owners of tanning booths and salons, criticized the study and editorial and disputed any connection between deadly skin cancer and tanning beds.