Are tanning beds “safe”? Human studies of melanoma


Marianne Berwick, e-mail:


Controversy continues over the carcinogenic properties of tanning beds. The tanning industry “sells” tanning beds as a safe alternative to UV exposure for both tanning as well as vitamin D biosynthesis. But, how safe are tanning beds? Epidemiologic data – incomplete and unsatisfactory – suggests that tanning beds are not safer than solar ultraviolet radiation and that they may have independent effects from solar exposure that increase risk for melanoma.