A nice tan can be an attractive feature, but using tanning beds comes with a price.
A new study published Tuesday in the Journal of Cancer Policy found tanning devices costs the U.S. $343 million annually in medical bills from skin cancer.
In 2015, there were 263,600 new cases of skin cancer due to tanning devices. The cases could lead to a total economic loss of more than $127 billion over the lifetime of the individuals affected, according to the study.
As high as these numbers seem, the study said they may be an underrepresentation since there is no national registry for skin cancers associated with tanning beds.
Tanning equipment emits UVA and UVB radiation, which is linked to various types of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and cases continue to grow. The average annual number of adults treated for skin cancer from 2002 to 2006 was 3.4 million. In 2007 to 2011, the number increased to 4.9 million.
Despite the health risks, 35 percent of adults and 17 percent of teens in the U.S. reported using a tanning bed, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The country is home to 25,000 tanning salons and indoor tanning is only becoming more popular, the study said.
Because of the dangers linked to tanning beds, there have been some steps taken to inform consumers of the risks.
In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified tanning beds as "moderate risk products" and required all devices be stamped with a warning. Additionally, the Obama Administration imposed a ten percent excise tax on indoor tanning services in 2012 within the Affordable Care Act.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prepared a set of guidelines on how to reduce the use of tanning beds in the U.S.
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