Forget gyms: student apartments are now enticing tenants with free indoor tanning.iStock

Parents now have something else to worry about when sending their kids to college: unfettered access to tanning beds.

A new survey has found that up to half of apartment housing within a five-mile radius of the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University offer free on-site indoor tanning, often to minors (which is illegal).

And it’s not just Texas, either: Another recent study found that half of the top 125 colleges ranked in the U.S. News and World Report have indoor tanning either on campus or in nearby student housing.

While indoor tanning may sound like the least of a student's campus concerns, it really is no joke, particularly for young people. In fact those who start using a tanning bed before the age of 30 have a 75 percent greater risk of developing melanoma, a particularly brutal kind of skin cancer.


“When students go to college they are exposed to a plethora of risk behaviors,” wrote Diana Bartenstein of Tufts University School of Medicine, who helped with the research. “We can now add indoor tanning to this list.” (Reuters)

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