It appears warnings about the dangers of indoor tanning beds are falling mostly on deaf ears. A new study finds nearly 40 percent of adults and more than half of college-age kids have exposed themselves to indoor tanning beds -- many within the last year.
"Tanning beds have been listed like tobacco and asbestos as carcinogens- they are carcinogens. They are dangerous and people should avoid them, but what we should take from this is despite that message people are still exposing themselves to tanning beds," explained Cleveland Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang.
University of California researchers analyzed the prevalence of indoor tanning in the United States, Europe and Australia. Nearly 407,000 people were included.
They found almost 36% of adults were exposed to indoor tanning in their lifetime, as were 55% of college-aged students, and 19 percent of adolescents.
within the last year though, 14 percentof adults said they were exposed, 43% of college-aged students and 18 percent of adolescents.
Researchers say the findings show how prevalent indoor tanning is, especially among young people.
Piliang, who did not take part in the study, agrees and says everyone should understand how risky indoor tanning can be.
"So, melanoma-type skin cancer, your rate is increased by 75 percent after exposure to indoor tanning beds and the more exposures you have the higher your risk," she said.
The American Academy of Dermatology has more information on indoor tanning and the risks associated with it on it's website: aad.org.