Tanning Salons, a Deadly Choice
average day, more than 1 million Americans tan in tanning salons. Of the
customers, 70% are Caucasian girls and women, aged 16 to 49. These numbers
continue to rise each year, despite research that shows the risks of indoor
tanning, including premature aging such as age spots and wrinkles, and even
worse, the danger of skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology is speaking out on the
dangers, specifically targeting teenagers with the facts about indoor tanning.
[PS: Outdoor tanning from the sun isn’t a better or safer alternative.]
These are the facts:
There are 2 types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation: UVA and UVB.
UVA has been recognized as a deeper penetrating radiation that causes more
damage while UVB has long been associated with burn. Both types damage the skin
by tanning and burning the skin. Most salons use bulbs in their tanning beds
that emit a significant amount of UVA and UVB radiation. Additionally, research
has found that tanning lamps emit UV rays that can be up to 15 times stronger
than the sun. There is no “safe” UV light. Research has shown that UV light is
the primary preventable cause of skin cancer. Avoiding excessive exposure to the
sun and other forms of UV radiation is the solution.
According to a 2002 survey published in the Archives of
Dermatology, 47% of students at a Midwestern university had used indoor
tanning beds in 2001. Of those surveyed, 90% also admitted to knowing that
tanning is a health risk, yet they continued to use tanning beds frequently.
Indoor tanning can be habit-forming. A study published in the
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that some frequent
tanners, those who tan 8 to 15 times a month, developed withdrawal-like symptoms
after discontinuing tanning. The study authors suggest that ultraviolet (UV)
exposure may have an addictive quality in frequent tanners. The study also
determined the tanners found the presence of UV to be desirable and associated
it with positive sensations of relaxation.
Estimates are there will be more than 100,000 new cases of
melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, diagnosed in the U.S. The US
Department of Health and Human Services has declared UV radiation from the sun
and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, as a known cause of
Published April 18, 2008
Silver Planet Medical Staff©www.health-eheadlines.com Consumer Health News Service