Why Are Tanning Beds Legal?

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Tanning beds are a popular way to achieve a sun-kissed glow without exposing oneself to the sun’s harmful rays.

According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, 35% of American adults, 59% of college students, and 17% of teenagers have used tanning beds at least once.

However, tanning beds come with health risks, such as skin cancer, premature aging, and eye damage.

So, why are tanning beds legal, and what are the arguments for and against them?

The Arguments for Tanning Beds

Many people use tanning beds because they prefer the way they look with a tan or because they believe it boosts their mood.

Some people also use tanning beds to produce vitamin D or to treat medical conditions like psoriasis.

There is some evidence that moderate and controlled exposure to UV rays can help with these conditions.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that UVB exposure from a tanning bed improved psoriasis symptoms in some patients.

The Arguments Against Tanning Beds

However, many experts and organizations oppose the use of tanning beds due to their health risks.

The World Health Organization classifies tanning beds as a Group 1 carcinogen, which means they are as dangerous as tobacco smoke and asbestos.

One study found that people who use tanning beds before the age of 30 increase their risk of melanoma by 75%.

Tanning beds can also cause premature aging of the skin, such as wrinkles, age spots, and loss of elasticity, and damage the eyes, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases.

The Legal Status of Tanning Beds

In the United States, there is no federal law banning tanning beds, but some states have imposed restrictions or regulations on their use.

For example, California prohibits anyone under 18 from using tanning beds, while Texas requires parental consent for minors. Other states require warning labels, training for operators, or licensing requirements for tanning salons. Some countries, such as Brazil, Australia, France, or Canada, have banned or restricted tanning beds altogether.


In conclusion, tanning beds are legal in the US, but their use comes with health risks and has been banned or restricted in other countries.

While some people may find tanning beds aesthetically pleasing or mood-boosting, their benefits are limited and come with risks.

Therefore, it is essential to weigh the potential benefits and harms of tanning beds and make an informed decision about their use.

Important Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should Tanning Beds Be Illegal?

In some people’s opinion tanning beds should be illegal because they pose significant health risks, such as skin cancer, premature aging, and eye damage.

Tanning beds emit UV radiation that is as dangerous as the sun’s rays and can cause DNA damage to skin cells. Moreover, tanning beds can be addictive, leading to a cycle of exposure and damage that can be hard to break.

In What Countries Are Tanning Beds Illegal?

Several countries have banned or restricted tanning beds due to their health risks.

For example, Brazil, Australia, France, and Canada have banned tanning beds altogether, while other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain, have imposed age restrictions, warning labels, or licensing requirements on tanning salons.

What Are the Benefits of Tanning Beds?

The benefits of tanning beds are limited and come with significant risks. Some people use tanning beds to produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and immune function.

However, vitamin D can also be obtained from food, supplements, or a few minutes of sun exposure without risking skin damage.

Some people also use tanning beds to treat medical conditions like psoriasis, but there are other safer and more effective treatments available, such as prescription creams, light therapy, or oral medications. 

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