Tanning Bed Lies
Tanning Bed Lies
Tanning beds are as common as there are gas stations. There is one in every shopping center all promising to give you a “healthy” skin tone year round. While most people know that there is an increased risk of skin cancer and premature aging, they continue to live in the moment and still tan.
What most teens and young adults don’t realize is that studies have shown that the earlier a person is exposed to UV and skin damage, the more likely that melanoma will develop. Nearly 70 percent of the tanning bed usage is by people under the age of 30 who develop melanoma at a rate seven times faster than the rest of the population would.
Most of the people who tan don’t know that the World Health Organization grades indoor tanning beds in “Group 1” carcinogen, which is the same category as tobacco and arsenic. For people who tan a few times a week, that reality can be deadly.
To make things even worse for these young adults, the tanning salons are misleading them into thinking that the tanning bed is actually good for them. A report from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee found that 75 percent of tanning salons were saying that indoor tanning helps with treatment for depression, induces vitamin D production, helps with arthritis, weight loss, and cellulite.
A survey by the American Academy of Dermatology found that Caucasian girls still will continue to tan for the sake of vanity even though they know the risk associated with tanning.
The American Cancer Society and a group of federal officials are working to create stronger laws to limit the use of the tanning beds and to give out better information and education to people who are tanning. In the future they hope to represent tanning beds as the World Health Organization see them and prevent their usage like the government does with tobacco.
Source: The Safety Report “The Tall Tales of Tanning Beds,” Stephanie Gelber, February 21, 2013.