Study: Tanning Beds Responsible For Average Of 3,234 Injuries Per Year That Send People To The ER

When the weather outside is frightful and the sun is nowhere to be found in the winter months, some people might turn to an indoor tanning bed to get their glow on. But beyond the chance for cancer from the exposure to ultraviolet radiation, there’s the risk of getting burned, bumped or bruised, says a new study on tanning bed use.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers say tanning beds are responsible for an average of 3,234 injuries every year that end with people going to the hospital emergency rooms each year.

That number excludes any kind of private physicians, urgent care facilities or people who treated themselves at home, notes the Washington Post.

Injuries included skin burns, fainting spells, eye injuries, lacerations, strains, sprains, bruises or dislocations, along with the fact that tanning in such beds increases the risk of skin cancers like melanoma at the same time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends against using the contraptions.

But because the data only includes ER visits, the health economist who conducted the study for the CDC says he thinks the real number of injuries is higher.

Women are more than four times likely as men to get hurt, with skin burns being the most common injury suffered during tanning. This, because women are more likely to go indoor tanning, the study says, especially younger adults ages 18-34.

There is some good news, however — the number of injuries dropped quite a bit during the period covered by researchers: In 2003 there were more than 6,000 acute injuries, a number that dropped as low as 2,000 in 2012.

Another 3,234 reasons to avoid tanning beds [Washington Post]