264057 Examination of indoor tanning prevalence, practices and risk perception of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure among sorority and fraternity students

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nnenna Ugwuala, BS, MPH (c) , Department Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ
Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH , Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ-SPH (and EOHSI), Piscataway, NJ
Francesca Pagell, EdD , Department Health and Exercise Science, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
Introduction: Skin cancer in the United States is a growing public health concern due to the high incidence rate of melanoma and non melanoma cancer. Many studies have linked ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure from indoor tanning as a risk factor for melanoma and non melanoma cancer and a plethora of adverse health effects. The young adult populations in the 15-29 age groups are especially vulnerable to UVR exposure due to their high prevalence of indoor tanning usage. Sorority and fraternity students are known to demonstrate high sun seeking behavior, but studies evaluating indoor tanning prevalence, practices and perceived risk of UVR exposure among this population have been limited. Methods: An online questionnaire will be administered to Rowan University's Greek Student body from early March- early May 2012. Questions will include student demographic characteristics, family skin health history, skin cancer risk factors (e.g. hair, eye, skin color and tendency to burn), tanning behavior both indoors and outdoors (e.g. type of indoor tanning equipment, duration, frequency and use of tanning lotions/oils), use of protective equipment (e.g. goggles and sun screen,) and risk perceptions associated with UVR exposure. Results: The authors will share data summaries on whether frequent tanners demonstrate adequate knowledge about sun safety and protective measure and awareness of the risks associated with indoor and outdoor tanning. A current prediction is students who frequently tan will believe the perceived benefits received from tanning will outweigh the health risks. Conclusion: To decrease UVR exposure, public health practitioners must engage in aggressive education campaigns among young adults 18-29 who are high users of indoor and outdoor tanning. This study's data can help prioritize necessary actions to decrease exposure.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.) Describe similarities and differences in sources of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) indoors and outdoors; 2.) Identify susceptible, vulnerable population sub-groups regarding exposure to UVR; and, 3.) Identify environmental public health and risk education strategies targeting young adults in college.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently pursing my MPH with a concentration in environmental and occupational health. My interests are in exposure assessment and indoor air quality. The course work I have taken has help to expend my knowledge in exposure science and air quality. This project is especially fitting to my interest in human exposure to chemical and biological hazards.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.