Today, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) participated in Georgia Skin Cancer Awareness Day at the State Capitol to inform users and operators about the health risks associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation emitted from tanning devices. In 2010, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation for 2011 that no person shall establish, maintain or operate a tanning facility in the state without first having registered with DCH.
“This is one big step in a series of many to help people diminish the chances of getting skin cancer as a result of the improper use of tanning devices,” said Scott Uhlich, DCH Environmental Health Program Director. “As of January 1, 2011, all tanning facility operators should ensure they are in compliance with this new law.”
The new law defines a tanning facility to be any location, place, area, structure, or business that provides consumers access to tanning equipment. These facilities include, but are not limited to tanning salons, health clubs, apartments or condominiums regardless of whether a fee is charged for access to the tanning equipment.
Melanoma and other skin cancers are one of the most preventable, yet fatal forms of cancer, accounting for more than 50 percent of all cancers combined, including breast, lung and prostate cancer. One American dies of melanoma every 67 minutes, and the estimated total direct annual cost of melanoma treatment exceeds $290 million.