May 3, 2019
- The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel have declared ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, to be a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).9
- Research indicates that UV light from the sun and tanning beds can both cause melanoma and increase the risk of a benign mole progressing to melanoma.
- Indoor tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources, including beds, lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. The amount of the radiation produced during indoor tanning is similar to that of the sun, and in some cases might be stronger.
- Evidence from multiple studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
- Researchers estimate that indoor tanning may cause upwards of 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year.
- Higher melanoma rates among young females compared to young males may be due in part to widespread use of indoor tanning among females
- Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent; the risk increases with each use.
- Women younger than 30 are six times more likely to develop melanoma if they tan indoors.
- Research demonstrates that even people who do not burn after indoor tanning or sun exposure are at an increased risk of melanoma if they tan indoors.
- Even one indoor tanning session can increase users’ risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent.
- Indoor tanning before age 24 increases one’s risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by age 50.
- The estimated cost of treating skin cancers attributable to indoor tanning is $343.1 million a year, leading to a total economic loss of $127.3 billion over the lifetime of those affected.
- Studies have demonstrated that exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning damages the DNA in the skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV radiation during indoor tanning can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression, and eye damage, including cataracts and ocular melanoma.
- A recent investigation estimated that 3,234 injuries related to indoor tanning — including burns, loss of consciousness and eye injuries — were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments every year from 2003 to 2012.
- In addition to the above-mentioned risks, frequent, intentional exposure to UV light may lead to tanning addiction.
- Research indicates that more than one-fifth of Caucasian women age 18-30 exhibit indoor tanning dependence.
- Indoor tanning beds/lamps should be avoided and should not be used to obtain vitamin D because UV radiation from indoor tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer. Vitamin D can be obtained by eating a healthy diet and by taking oral supplements.