Australia, home to some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world, has begun to ban indoor tanning beds said to speed up the development of cancer. According to the latest available data, around 80% of cancer cases in the country are of the skin variety. Looks like John Boehner will have to plan ahead next time he heads south of the equator (to be fair, the Speaker denies using fake tanning techniques).
Via The Wall Street Journal:
A recent study cited by the Victoria government estimated 1 in 6 melanomas in Australians between 18 and 29 years old would be prevented if all tanning salons were closed down. Neighboring state New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney, outlawed the devices last year, effective at the end of 2014. In total, five of Australia's eight states and territories, say they plan to ban tanning beds altogether by 2015.
In 2009, the World Health Organization classified tanning beds as a Class I carcinogen, comparable to smoking cigarettes. Some countries quickly moved to ban them, the first being Brazil. Certain states in America have moved to ban their usage by children under the age of 18.
The proposed ban in Australia has not been met with widespread approval, however, with owners alleging that outlawing the practice will just force operators "underground" unregulated. One person told The Telegraph, "People will be running it in their backyards. I know people want to put (them) in shops where they're not even listed as a tanning salon and people just go there as a black market tanning machine."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.