For the tanning industry, skin cancer from tanning beds is almost impossible for two misleading rationales.
One, the controlled tanning that happens in salons prevents the formation of melanoma by building up melanin, which is the dark pigment of skin that protects against harmful ultraviolet rays ( UV rays ).
Two, ultraviolet exposure facilitates vitamin D synthesis, said vitamin being important in the body's health.
Plus, studies have shown that vitamin D also lowers the risk for certain cancers especially on the breast, prostrate and colon.
Despite these arguments, however, skin cancer from tanning beds is still very much a cause for concern.
Studies that Refute
The scientific community has numerous studies that point out the fallacy of the tanning industry's assertions. For one thing, we can get sufficient amount of vitamin D from our diet as well as from sun exposure.
Just make sure that when you do get your 15 minutes of early morning sun, you have applied organic sunscreen on the exposed areas of your body and face as well as worn uv protection clothing and sunglasses.
For another thing, tanning in any form, be it in the salon or on the beach, is counterintuitive in your efforts for UV protection. This is because tanning damages the skin, which leads to faster ageing and, worse, skin cancer.
New studies have pointed out that the majority of gene mutations found in skin cancer melanoma are caused by ultraviolet radiation.
And we are not talking of just tens of mutations as there are over 33,000 genetic mutations possible with the most fatal of all types of skin cancer.
Lest you think that melanoma is all that you should be worrying about, think again. Non-melanoma skin cancer from tanning beds is also very possible. You have 2.5 times more risk of squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 rimes for basal cell carcinoma if you love lying in tanning beds.
Legislation that Ban
Fortunately, governments have recognized the danger of tanning beds and salons on the health of their constituents.
This comes as no surprise especially when international organizations like the World Health Organization have sounded the warning bells of the dangers of artificial ultraviolet radiation exposure.
On the global front, Germany banned indoor tanning for individuals under the age of 18 while other European countries are hot on its foot in following such strict legislation.
Even Australia, which is known for having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, has cracked down on the tanning salons.
In the United States, more and more states and counties are adopting stricter legislation banning minors from using tanning salons.
For example, Texan law requires any children less than 16½ years of age from even entering tanning salons while 18 year old individuals should have in-person parental consent.
Then again, if you are a responsible parent who knows about skin cancer from tanning beds , you will not give your consent to your child. Instead, you will educate him or her about the dangers of unprotected and prolonged ultraviolet exposure, be it from the sun or the tanning bed.
Of course, education coupled with action is always the best recourse when it comes to health.
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