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Skin cancer has been on the rise, particularly in young adults.  A number of dermatologists and other medical experts have attributed this increase in skin cancer, at least in some part, to the increasing popularity of indoor tanning.  This is despite the fact that the American Academy of Dermatology has been calling for a ban on indoor tanning beds for years.  Consumer Reports has also been a vocal critic of tanning salons, primarily due to the risk of cancer and many salon’s flagrant violation of state regulations regarding tanning duration and tanning by minors.  The U.S. Surgeon General also sent out a new warning urging teens to avoid indoor tanning beds.

Teenagers face the greatest risk from tanning.  In fact, in 2007, the World Health Organization recommended that no one under the age of 18 should use a sunbed for tanning.  A study, “Use of Sunbeds or Sunlamps and Malignant Melanoma in Southern Sweeden” published in 1994 in the American Journal of Epidemiology demonstrates that tanning at an early age significantly enhances the risks:

The odds ratio for developing malignant melanoma after ever having used sunbeds or sunlamps was 1.3. Considering all age groups, the odds ratio was significantly elevated after exposure more than 10 times a year to sun beds or sunlamps (odds ratio (OR) = 1.8). When the study was restricted to patients and controls younger than age 30 years because the use of tanning devices is much more common among young persons, the odds ratio was higher (OR = 7.7 for more than 10 times a’ year vs. none).

This shows that tanning under the age of 30 at the same rate carries roughly 4X the risk, simply as a function of age.

Nidel Law, P.L.L.C. is very concerned about the increase in this otherwise largely preventable cancer and is actively looking into whether there may be claims against those companies that have violated state regulations applicable to indoor tanning salons and failed to warn of the substantial risks posed by indoor tanning.  The reality is, there is no such thing as a safe tan.  Despite this fact, the tanning industry has been hiding the true risks of tanning and insisting that the “controlled” radiation exposure from indoor tanning is safer, and in fact, does not come with the same risk of cancer.  This is simply false.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that you believe may be the result of using tanning beds, please submit your response to the following brief questionnaire.