Health Experts Campaign Against Tanning Industry

Health experts have are putting together a campaign against the tanning industry. According to the campaign the tanning industry portrays indoor tanning beds and sunbathing a safe practice and even goes so far as to say that it is good for the health of consumers.

President of the Society of Melanoma Research – David E. Fisher – argued that there is no such thing as a safe tan. He and his colleagues accused the industry of misleading consumers concerning the health benefits of tanning. “This effort to portray tanning and tanning beds as good for health ignores the fact that exposure to ultraviolet radiation represents one of the most avoidable causes of cancer,” Fisher tells WebMD. “There is no question that this exposure causes thousands of skin cancer deaths a year.”

The Indoor Tanning Association launched a nationwide campaign next Spring and a full page ad in the New York Times – which questioned the connection between sun exposure and the deadly skin cancer. The ad went on to claim that tanning allows for good health by increasing levels of vitamin D.

The exposure to ultraviolet light helps the body to produce vitamin D. Research shows that vitamin D helps to protect the body from many diseases. “Both the sun and tanning beds have been unnecessarily demonized by special interests using junk science and scare tactics,” International Tanning Association spokeswoman Sarah Longwell said.

Fisher admits that the exposure to UV rays when connected to melanoma has not been fully understood – but he believes that the tanning industry is wrong in saying that there is no link at all between the two. “Whereas genetic and other factors undoubtedly contribute importantly to skin cancer risk, the role of UV is incontrovertible, and efforts to confuse the public, particularly for the purposes of economic gain by the indoor tanning industry, should be vigorously combated for the public health,” Fisher and colleagues write in the October issue of Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research.

September 22nd, 2008 • tonks • Cancer, Conditions and Diseases, News and Opinion, Skin Comments Off

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