More tanning beds than drug stores or McDonald's in Florida

Dec. 28, 2013 at 2:08 AM
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MIAMI, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- University of Miami researchers say Florida has more indoor tanning facilities than CVS pharmacies or McDonald's restaurants.

Dr. Sonia A. Lamel of the University of Miami and colleagues analyzed the number of registered Florida tanning facilities and the types of services offered at each. They compared the number of tanning facilities with the number of other common Florida businesses registered with the state.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, found one tanning salon for every 15,113 people and 1.16 tanning facilities for every 50 squares miles in Florida.

There are more tanning facilities (1,261) than McDonald's (868) or CVS pharmacies (693) -- only Bank of America ATMs at 1,455 were more common, the study said.

Most tanning facilities offered tanning only, and many facilities were housed in residential buildings and fitness and wellness centers. They were also clustered around college dormitories and housing.

Indoor tanning is linked to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer development, especially if people tan before the age of 35. Florida has the second-highest incidence of melanoma in the country with frequent use of tanning facilities by teenage girls and young adults, the researchers said.

"Further investigation of the impact of indoor tanning facility type, geographic location and use on skin cancer incidence may promote regulation of these carcinogenic devices and guide health interventions," the researchers said. "Moreover, efforts to restrict false advertising and complimentary indoor tanning may be warranted."

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