clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The dangers of indoor tanning, in one chart

indoor tanning

We know that the intense dose of radiation people get from tanning beds can cause cancer in the long term. But the immediate health risks related to indoor tanning are less clear.

So researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled data on tanning-bed injuries that sent people to emergency departments across the US between 2003 and 2012.

What they found was disturbing: skin burns, passing out, lacerations and cuts, as well as eye injuries were among the most common reasons people sought emergency care after hitting tanning beds.

The data on injuries came from a sample of 405 patients who had been to an emergency room because of tanning. Most of the injured folks were white women between the ages of 18 and 24.

In the analysis, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers estimated that, on average, more than 3,200 people are treated for tanning-related injuries in US emergency rooms every year.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.