Going through the winter season in Philadelphia can be gloomy. At the height of winter, during the solstice on December 21st, residents get a maximum of 9 hours and 20 minutes of daylight. This compares to more than 15 hours of sun at the height of summer. With almost 6 hours less daylight, many people turn to tanning beds to get a dose of tanning rays.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average rate of people in the U.S. who have reported indoor tanning in the past 12 months of the study was 5.6%. However, that rate is much higher among white women aged 18 to 21, averaging almost 32%. White women aged 22 to 25 had a 29.6% reported use of tanning beds.
Unfortunately, in many places, even teenagers under the age of 18 are able to tan indoors. In Pennsylvania, tanning under 17 is prohibited. Tanning for 17-year-olds is permitted with a parent’s written permission. In Maryland, minors cannot use tanning facilities without the written consent of the parents.
Dangers of Tanning Beds
There are a number of risks associated with tanning bed use, including skin cancer. Most of those risks increase the more a user spends time under the ultraviolet (UV) light. A report from WBUR Boston discussed a number of tanning bed dangers. Those risks include:
- Higher risk of melanoma
- Burn injury
- Tanning addiction
- Higher risk of other cancers, including carcinoma
- Skin damage
A study in the BMJ estimated indoor tanning leads to more than 170,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma every year. The risks of developing carcinoma increase with the younger age of the tanner. According to one of the researchers, about 40 uses of tanning a year increases the risk of melanoma by about 55%.
Many users of tanning beds rely on the salons to provide safe equipment. However, there may be no way for the user to know if the owner is keeping the equipment in good repair, using proper replacement bulbs, and properly sanitizing the machines and equipment between uses.
Defective Tanning Beds
There may be an additional risk of injury because of defective tanning beds. When a tanning bed does not operate as advertised or does not contain the proper warnings, users could be at risk of unexpected injuries. Even something as simple as a faulty locking system could see the bed lid fall down unexpectedly, hitting the user on the head and causing a head injury.
Product liability claims generally fall under a manufacturing defect, design defect, or warning defect. If the product is defective as delivered to the consumer, an injury could include a strict liability product defect claim. The injury victim does not have to show that any one person in the company was responsible for the injury, only that the product was defective when purchased, and that defect caused an injury.
Tanning Bed Injury Attorneys
An injury caused by tanning or a faulty tanning bed may give the injury victim a chance to seek compensation from the manufacturer or developer of the tanning bed. If your child was injured while using a tanning bed, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with injury accident claims in Philadelphia, DC, and Baltimore. Contact us today for a free consultation.