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.
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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
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
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