Tanning Beds Still Popular, Despite Cancer Risks

Despite increasing evidence linking the use of tanning beds to skin cancer, Americans continue to love their tans. In fact, a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology found that the state of Florida currently features more tanning salons than McDonald’s restaurants.

“Commercial tanning beds have been available for cosmetic use for many decades, and current estimates suggest that 1 million people use tanning beds daily, despite their placement in the highest cancer risk category and use being restricted in many states,” the researchers wrote. “Indoor tanning is linked to melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer development, especially with use before age 35 years. Because indoor tanning use is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, the availability of devices to certain demographics may have significant public health consequences.”

According to study researchers from the University of Miami, most American users of tanning beds are young, Caucasian females. The researchers found that up to 40 percent of American teen girls frequent tanning salons.

In many cases, customers pursue tans at businesses that are not actually classified as tanning salons. The researchers found that beauty parlors, fitness centers, massage parlors and even private residences are all popular places to get a tan.

While many states have restricted the legal age for tanning bed use to 18, there is no age minimum for tanning in other states. According to the FDA, the American Academy of Dermatology shows that people who use tanning beds have a 75 percent higher risk of developing melanoma. A deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma kills roughly 9,000 Americans each year.

In light of the steady popularity of tanning beds and the growing number of melanoma diagnoses in the United States, the FDA has proposed a new rule that would reclassify tanning beds as “moderate risk medical devices.” Under this rule, new tanning bed designs would be subject to FDA inspection and approval, and would carry warning labels.

Multiple tanners who have been diagnosed with skin cancer have filed personal injury lawsuits based on claims that they were not adequately warned of the risks of artificial tanning. If you would like to learn more about plaintiffs’ rights in tanning bed cancer lawsuits,contact the Law Offices of Melinda J. Helbock, A.P.C. for a free legal consultation. Ms. Helbock and her staff represents individuals in a range of personal injury claims throughout San Diego and beyond.