According to reports, Schneiderman is suing the tanning salon for deceptive advertising, as the establishment claims that customers can bypass healthy foods such as milk and salmon and get the Vitamin D they need by spending only 20 minutes in one of Portofino’s tanning beds. The company, which has five outlets in Manhattan, said on its Facebook and Twitter advertisements dated December 2012 to August 2013 that indoor tanning is “an excellent, reliable source of Vitamin D.” In these ads, Portofino Sun Center says that the usual tanning session would naturally create Vitamin D equivalent to “drinking 100 glasses of milk or eating 25 servings of salmon.”
Schneiderman’s lawsuit against Portofino Sun Center seeks $5,000 per instance of false advertisement, and stresses that the body is only able to create Vitamin D from UVB exposure, as opposed to the UVA rays generated by sunlamps. The suit also points out that the World Health Organization added indoor tanning to its growing list of dangerous, cancer-causing types of radiation, with its effects similar to the cancerous effects of cigarette smoking.
So far, both sides have been launching volleys against each other, as Portofino said on its website that “there is actually no clear direct experimental evidence showing a causative mechanism between tanning and melanoma.” Schneiderman replied quite forcefully in his own statement, which reads as follows – “make no mistake, there is nothing safe about indoor tanning.” In addition to Portofino, Schneiderman has warned two other competing salons – Beach Bums and Planet Fitness – that they may be next in line to be sued.