New research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention published in JAMA Internal Medicine newsletter indicates while there has been a slight decline in the number of injuries involving indoor tanning beds, the number of injuries remain much higher than necessary and indicate a failure to follow health and safety guidelines. The average user of indoor tanning are white women ages 18 to 24. The study analyzed 10 years of national injury data and found over 6,000 indoor tanning injuries that were treated in emergency rooms in 2003. This figure fell to 2,000 in 2012.
Injuries include burns, fainting, muscle and bone injuries, and eye injuries which took place in tanning salons. The majority did not require hospitalization but did need treatment of some sort.As quoted by an article in TIME, Gery Guy, Jr., PhD from the CDC says,
We saw plenty of eye injuries… This is concerning because it’s not only an acute injury… but it also puts you at risk for certain conditions down the road, like cataracts or eye melanoma.”
Other sources of injury were due to users fallings asleep in the tanning and being overexposed.
Since 2003, the popularity of indoor tanning has dropped, which health professionals attribute to the increased public health initiatives linking tanning devices to cancer. Furthermore, in 2014 the FDA reclassified indoor tanning devices from a Class I devices to a Class II device, which indicates an increase in the understood risk of the devices.
While the decline in the popularity and linked injuries is positive, officials say the rate of injuries remains too high for an industry that is regulated. Ideally, the rate of injury should be around one percent, say CDC researchers.
Dr. Jeffrey Salomon, assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine says,
It is not acceptable to hold yourself as providing a safe treatment with a device that emits UV radiation when your machines’ safety timers are either disabled or bypassed.”
Read more here- “Indoor Tanning Injuries Can Require ER Treatment,” (Lindsey Tanner, BusinessWeek)