The Sunshine State has more indoor tanning facilities than McDonald's restaurants, according to a new study.
The research, published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, revealed that Florida has a total of 1,261 tanning facilities, which breaks down to one tanning salon for every 50 square miles -- or one per 15,113 people. As points of comparison, Florida has 868 McDonald's, 693 CVS pharmacies and 756 Publix supermarkets. In fact, the only business the researchers surveyed that was more prevalent than tanning salons was Bank of America ATMs, with a total of 1,455 throughout the state. The study was first reported by HealthDay News.
The sheer number of tanning facilities is concerning, as indoor tanning has been linked with melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), squamous cell carcinoma and ocular melanoma, or cancer of the eye, according to the CDC, in addition to wrinkles and skin texture changes. Tanning beds and booths expose skin to both UVA and UVB rays, and, in particular, the melanoma risk for people who start tanning before the age of 35 jumps 59 percent. According to the researchers of the new study, Florida has the second highest melanoma rate in the country.
"Recently, availability of indoor tanning facilities has drastically increased, and this business has become one of the fastest growing industries. Despite tanning bed exposure being labeled as 'carcinogenic to humans,' increasing use by adolescents is a concern," the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers wrote in their findings. "The prevalence of indoor tanning facilities in Florida compared with commonly frequented businesses in our study has alarming implications ... 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."
The prevalence of indoor tanning facilities isn't unique to Florida. On an average day, more than 1 million U.S. people use tanning salons, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and nearly 28 million people tan indoors in the country annually.
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A few years back, the star had a cancerous mole removed from under his eye, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7360233.stm" target="_hplink">telling the BBC</a> that he knew his fair skin -- and years spent enjoying the sun -- upped his risk. "I went to see a specialist who thought they were better to be removed, and indeed he was correct,"<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7360233.stm" target="_hplink"> McGregor told the BBC.</a>
<a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20532015_2,00.html" target="_hplink">The actress told <em>Health</em> magazine</a> that her Aussie husband was instrumental in keeping her skin cancer from progressing. "A few years ago I had a mole on the back of my calf, and he was adamant that I get it checked," <a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20532015_2,00.html" target="_hplink">she told the publication.</a> "In Australia, they're very aware of skin cancer. I finally went and it was skin cancer."
William H. Macy
After appearing on her show with a small bandage on his nose, the actor told "Live! with Kelly" host Kelly Ripa he'd recently had a basal-cell carcinoma removed <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/2012/01/03/william-h-macy-recovering-from-skin-cancer-surgery/" target="_hplink"> (via SFGate)</a>. "I'm Scots/Irish heritage and (that's what I get) for spending a misspent youth in Georgia with no sunscreen," Macy said.
The actress once underwent surgery to remove "the early stages of skin cancer from her face," <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-12-18/entertainment/melanie.griffith.cancer_1_melanie-griffith-skin-cancer-surgery?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">CNN reported. </a> According to <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-12-18/entertainment/melanie.griffith.cancer_1_melanie-griffith-skin-cancer-surgery?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">CNN,</a> Griffith's spokesperson explained that the surgery was done early enough to prevent any future complications.
The politician has had at least four melanomas, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/24/science/sci-melanoma24" target="_hplink">the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> reports.</a> "Melanoma can almost always be cured in its early stages. But it is likely to spread to other parts of the body if it is not caught early," <a href="http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/SkinCancer-Melanoma/OverviewGuide/melanoma-skin-cancer-overview-what-is-melanoma" target="_hplink">The American Cancer Society explains.</a> "Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers ... but it is far more dangerous."
Though the actress is skin-cancer free, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20280761,00.html" target="_hplink">she told <em>People</em> magazine</a> that her doctor once removed a precancerous mole from her face, which served as a real wake-up call. "All my girlfriends and I would go up on the roof in New York; we didn't have to be at the beach," <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20280761,00.html" target="_hplink">Shields told<em> People</em>,</a> explaining that she stopped tanning years ago. "You think that because you're not in the sun anymore, it's all in the past. And then something like that crops up and you're made aware of how dangerous it really can be."
The former First Lady had a tumor removed from her shin several years ago, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2006/12/18/wh-laura-bush-had-skin-ca_n_36672.html" target="_hplink">the AP reported.</a> It was a squamous cell carcinoma -- a non-melanoma skin cancer -- the main symptom of which is a "growing bump that may have a rough, scaly surface and flat reddish patches," <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001832/" target="_hplink">the NIH explains.</a>
The former NFL quarterback was told he had 100 percent chance of survival after a malignant melanoma was removed from his shoulder back in the late 1990s,<a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1013047/index.htm" target="_hplink"> according to <em>Sports Illustrated.</em> </a>
The star reporter had minor surgery to remove a cancerous mole from his face, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/19/anderson-cooper-has-surge_n_92338.html" target="_hplink">the AP reported.</a> <a href="http://www.accesshollywood.com/anderson-cooper-has-small-spot-of-skin-cancer-removed_article_8823" target="_hplink">As Access Hollywood explained,</a> he mentioned the procedure on his blog explaining that he had "a small spot of skin cancer removed from under my left eye."
The former reality TV star (who may be returning to it again soon) had a basal cell carcinoma inside her nose removed, which required doctors to remove part of her nostril, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20348105,00.html" target="_hplink">according to <em>People.</em></a> She's also had melanoma removed from her thigh, and now is very careful to avoid the sun.