Germany's highest court ruled Thursday that minors should be banned from visiting tanning studios due to health concerns, upholding a law that caused controversy in one of Europe's top sunbed markets.
The German government adopted the law in 2009 after a study showing that people under the age of 30 had 75 percent more chance of contracting skin cancer from regular sunbed use than older people.
The Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint brought by tanning studio operators, judging that the ban was justified on public health grounds.
The court also threw out an appeal from a 17-year-old girl who said her human rights were affected by the ban.
It said that child-protection legislation aimed to prevent minors from harming themselves.
Germany is one of the top markets for artifical tanning, with 3,500 studios and 50,000 tanning cabins, if those in swimming pools, fitness centres and hotels are included.
The sector employs some 32,000 people and the main manufacturers of tanning machines are headquartered in Germany.