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Though spokespeople from the Indoor Tanning Association have indicated that great strides have been made in reducing injury, the CDC warns that there is still significant risk. In fact, it is estimated that over 3,000 injuries per year have been attributed to indoor tanning, many of these being burns. Tanning salons have become more widely used, and the equipment and staff attention frequently leaves room for improvement.
According to research performed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands annually suffer burns from salon tanning, many of which are preventable. The researchers indicate that providers of tanning salons should be providing individualized treatment for each client based on skin type, power level, and duration. However, often, this attention is not provided, and the controls on the equipment have been found to be faulty or even bypassed.
Four out of five tanning injuries were skin burns and occurred most often to young women of fair complexion. This excessive U.V. exposure can cause 1st and 2nd degree burns, and even poses a cancer risk. Other injuries reported by excessive exposure include eye injuries and fainting.
The indoor tanning industry is already subject to regulation, but compliance and enforcement of these often fall short. Until better management of these risks occurs, tanners should be mindful of the potential harm from overexposure. The number of tanning related injuries has dropped over the last decade, but this remaining figure can be significantly reduced or eliminated altogether through better adherence to policy.