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Using Indoor Tanning Beds Can Lead to Greater Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Risk, Reports UCSF Study

According to a new study led by UCSF that recently published online in BMJ, indoor tanning beds can up the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer. These tanning devices are already linked to malignant melanoma, which is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Considering that millions of people in the US use tanning salons each year, both these findings are disturbing. At The Gilbert Law Group®, our products liability lawyers represent clients that have gotten hurt or sick because a manufacturer made a product that was dangerous or defective or it failed to warn about possible risks and other complications that could result from use. Contact our product defect law firm to ask for your complimentary case evaluation.
The study’s researchers are linking indoor tanning to about 170,000 new non-melanoma skin cancer cases a year in the US alone. Exposure to tanning beds prior to turning 25 reportedly can create a raised risk for for basal cell carcinoma.
Some Possible Signs of Melanoma:
• Skin discoloration
• New moles
• Change in appearance to existing moles
• Multi-color moles
• Moles that don’t have delineated borders
The findings come from analyzing numerous medical articles published as early as 1985 with information going back to 1977 involving some 80,000 people in six nations. Although earlier studies have suggested a connection between indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer, these researchers sought to look at the available information and come to a “firm conclusion.”
Obviously it is good to know the cancer risks in that knowledge is power and awareness. Hopefully, people will reconsider using tanning beds, especially starting at such a young age. Unfortunately, many people still don’t realize that their quest for golden or browner skin may be jeopardizing their health. An industry trade organization reports that there are about 19,000 indoor tanning establishments in the US.
Yet even with stricter regulations by the government, the World Health Organization warning that there is an indoor tanning-cancer connection (the International Agency for Research on Cancer even considers indoor tanning a Class 1 carcinogen), manufacturers are still responsible for making products that are safe and notifying consumers about potential health risks. Failure to fulfill these obligations can be grounds for a products liability lawsuit.
While non-melanoma skin cancers aren’t generally considered deadly, they can still be disfiguring, result in complications, and on rare occasions can prove fatal. Treatment is required and receiving any type of cancer diagnosis is always traumatic. There is always the risk of the cancer returning.
Also, cancer isn’t the only side effect linked to tanning beds. The UV light emitted by these skin darkening devices may cause eye damage, such as pterygium, cataracts, photoconjunctivitis, and photokeratitis, and immune system suppression. You may even have grounds for a tanning bed lawsuit for your injuries or health issues against the tanning salon.
Tanning Beds, UCSF, October 2, 2012
Indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis, BMJ, October 2, 2012

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