“Coffins with lights”…. UPDATE

Well, one could also say “leather skin” machines. With Summer being here and many of us spending more time outdoors, I just wanted to present some information regarding skin cancer and sun exposure and that includes tanning booths or beds.

I found this article on MSNBC which I will summarize.

Most health clubs have tanning machines and we are told that exposure to the UV rays in these machines is safe. Actually, it isn’t. Tanned skin is damaged skin. When our skin cells are exposed to UV rays, the cells make more melanin as a means of protection which gives the skin a tanned appearance. Over time, the excessive exposure makes the skin dry and leathery. This excessive exposure eventually leads to a disruption in the cellular DNA which then becomes skin cancer.

Half of all cancers in the United States are skin cancers. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, accounts for about 60,000 cases and causes 11,000 deaths every year in the U.S. We spend nearly a billion dollars each year treating melanomas.

So who are you going to listen to — a bunch of folks in white coats* with lots of degrees who make money sawing cancerous bits off sun worshippers — or the guy with a store full of coffins with light bulbs at a strip mall?

Don’t buy what the tanning industry is selling. Save your hide.

It doesn’t matter if the exposure to the UV rays comes directly from the sun or a tanning machine. They both have the potential to cause skin cancer. So don’t forget the sun screen and if you are a gardener, try working in the garden in the morning before 10:00 or after 5:00 when the UV rays are not as strong. And for those reading this thread that are concerned about wrinkles and aging skin… tanned, damaged skin causes wrinkles.

Here’s a website that’s an excellent source for skin cancer information. It goes into details on the different types of skin cancers. Well worth visiting.

UPDATE:  Tanning beds can be as deadly as arsenic so says the most recent study on tanning beds.

LONDON – International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas.

For years, scientists have described tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as “probable carcinogens.”

A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. Previously, only one type of ultraviolet radiation was thought to be lethal.

These tanning devices are not getting any safer.  They are just as dangerous as smoking and are a definate cause of cancer.

The classification of tanning beds as carcinogenic was disputed by Kathy Banks, chief executive of The Sunbed Association, a European trade association of tanning bed makers and operators.”The fact that is continuously ignored is that there is no proven link between the responsible use of sunbeds and skin cancer,” Banks said in a statement. She said most users of tanning beds use them less than 20 times a year.

The tobacco industry made a similar statement in defense of tobacco use.

This is frightening:

But as use of tanning beds has increased among people under 30, doctors have seen a parallel rise in the numbers of young people with skin cancer. In Britain, melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, is now the leading cancer diagnosed in women in their 20s. Normally, skin cancer rates are highest in people over 75.Previous studies found younger people who regularly use tanning beds are eight times more likely to get melanoma than people who have never used them. In the past, WHO warned people younger than 18 to stay away from tanning beds.

(The original posting for this topic was on June 28, 2008)

Psst… remember to wear sunglasses when you are outside on a sunny day and use sunscreen.

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