Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Because the majority of cases are linked to an overexposure of ultraviolet (UV) rays, from the sun or indoor tanning devices, it is one of the most preventable cancers. The effects of UV radiation damage range from premature aging to melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer that kills close to 10,000 individuals annually.

According to the CDC, New Hampshire ranks 7th highest in the nation for rates of new melanoma diagnoses. Skin cancer rates in the state are a serious public health concern that must be addressed.

The use of indoor tanning devices is particularly dangerous as they produce UVA rays that are more intense than from the sun. UV exposure at a young age is especially damaging and can increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. New Hampshire was the twelfth state to ban the use of indoor tanning by anyone under the age of 18.  Although this law is a step in the right direction, it is not enough.

See additional melanoma related information and infographics from the CDC.

Help us prevent skin cancer by supporting policies that protect us all from cancer causing UV rays. Work with teachers and youth leaders to raise awareness about the dangers of UV exposure. Advocate for increased shade at playgrounds, pools and public spaces. Help promote sun protection in recreation areas with accessible sunscreen, hats and sunglasses for use or purchase. As always, protect yourself by using sunscreen appropriately, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding indoor/outdoor tanning.

One in three Americans report getting sunburned every year; we need to make it easier to have fun but still stay safe in the sun.

Together – Eliminating Cancer