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Am J Prev Med. 1992 Nov-Dec;8(6):381-3.

Safety information provided to customers of New York City suntanning salons.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.


Little is known about the safety information tanning salon operators provide to customers or the extent to which artificial tanning salons adhere to federal regulations designed to protect customers from excessive ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. We surveyed the operators of 20 artificial tanning salons in New York City from 1988 to 1989 concerning salon operating procedures and information provided to potential customers. Results revealed a disparity between known health risks of UVR exposure and safety information provided to tanning salon customers. For example, 75% of salon operators informed potential customers that artificial tanning would not cause a sunburn, and 80% informed potential customers that they would not get skin cancer from artificial tanning. Artificial tanning salons are a rapidly growing industry in the United States, with over two million customers annually. Results from this survey indicate a need for greater regulation of the tanning salon industry and for education of tanning salon operators in the risks associated with the use of artificial tanning devices.

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