The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about the dangers of indoor tanning devices, like tanning beds and tanning lamps. The agency reviewed and revised tanning bed regulations after a study linked the devices to increased risk of skin cancer.
Over 132,000 cases of malignant melanoma and more than two million other types of skin cancer occur each year around the globe. Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is responsible for more than 8,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.
The Melanoma Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to find a cure for melanoma, along with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reports that exposure to tanning beds before the age of 30 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.
Tanning Bed Regulations
In 2014, federal health experts determined that more restrictions were needed to protect teenagers from the cancer risks of tanning beds. The FDA issued new regulations which reclassified tanning beds and sunlamps to a higher risk level of medical device and recommended that tanning beds not be used by people under 18 years of age.
A number of states have followed suit and issued tighter regulations on tanning bed use in teenagers. Some states now require that minors obtain a prescription for indoor tanning bed use, while others banned their use altogether ranging from ages 14 to 18.
Tanning Beds and Eye Injury
In addition to the real risks of tanning beds and cancer, the UV light emitted by tanning bed bulbs can cause significant damage to the human eye. The tanning bed industry has claimed that the bulbs are “safe” because they emit more UVA light than UVB light and eye protection is recommended.
Despite these claims, tanning bed use can increase the risk for:
- Cataracts – a clouding of the eye lens that impairs vision
- Pterygium – a white-colored growth over the cornea
- Photokeratitis – inflammation or burning of the cornea
- Photoconjuntivitis – inflammation or burning of the conjunctival (membranes around eye)
- Ocular melanoma – a rare type of cancer similar to melanoma on the skin, which is often fatal
Tanning Bed Injury Lawsuits
People who have been diagnosed with cancer or other injury after using indoor tanning beds have filed lawsuits against manufacturers. If you or a family member was diagnosed with melanoma, skin cancer or other serious injury and suspect tanning beds were the cause, you should seek legal advice.
Contact us regarding tanning bed cancers; attorney consultations are free.