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    Indoor Tanning Pros and Cons Essay

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    Indoor Tanning Pro’s and Con’s People tend to think indoor tanning is extremely dangerous because of major health concerns, primary culprit being skin cancer. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States” (Skin Cancer Foundation, Skin Cancer Facts, 2010, ¶ 1). Indoor tanning has been known to put people at a greater risk of acquiring the most common form of skin cancer, melanoma. One form of melanoma kills approximately 7,800 people annually.

    Although many studies have shown that indoor tanning can lead to skin cancer, those studies haven’t concluded that a major percentage (or even half of that) was because of indoor tanning use. With government regulations enforcing more regulations and guidelines to adhere to, it would seem that indoor tanning is not as dangerous as people perceive it to be. UVA versus UVB Rays UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays (the burning rays) are the primary culprit behind health risks. These rays penetrate the outer layer of the skin that causes burning.

    UVB rays are found in both indoor tanning (bulbs) and outdoor sun exposure (sun rays); 30-40 years ago, due to lack of knowledge of skin damage caused by tanning, there were more UVB bulbs in tanning beds. Today tanning beds manufactured use UVA (Ultraviolet A) bulbs. UVA rays tend to penetrate the skin deeper and are less likely to burn the skin. This is the primary reason for manufacturers using little to no UVB bulbs. Government Regulations In the past the government regulations were very lenient.

    Over the past decade, regulations are becoming stricter, and at the present time the government has enforced new taxes. Currently tanning beds are regulated as Class I medical devices, which is a rating used for low risk products (e. g. tongue depressors). By increasing the classifications to a Class II device, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could require tanning bed manufacturers to submit information about new tanning machines before they reach the market. Another regulation enforced in 2007 directs the FDA to reexamine tanning bed labels.

    A bill currently pending in Congress would also limit the strength of UV rays emitted, and time a person is allowed to tan. Most important, the healthcare reform bill signed into law by President Obama March 22, 2010 imposes a 10% tax on tanning beds. Age and Exposure Exposure to UV rays under the age of 30 increases the risk of skin cancer. With 71% of tanning salon patrons being women ages 16-29, this is definitely an area of concern. Out of the nearly 30 million people who use indoor tanning beds annually, 2. 3 million of them are teens. It’s been suggested that tanning salons ban teens.

    Some salons that regulate tanning require a permission slip be signed by a parent for customers under 18. If more people ages 16-29 were aware of the increased risk of UV exposure’s link to skin cancer, those statistics could decrease tremendously. FDA regulations and guidelines need to be far stricter for teens, or possibly ban them altogether. Conclusion If education and regulations are enforced, indoor tanning could be a safer alternative to outdoor sun exposure, or sun bathing. Prospective customers who are ages 16-29 should be well informed of the health risks involved as it relates to indoor tanning.

    Salons and manufacturers should also adhere to government regulations and have a moral obligation to their clients. Make sure that clients who do have concerns be informed of other, safe alternatives (e. g. spray tanning). With education on age and exposure, and continuing to regulate and enforce government regulations, indoor tanning isn’t as dangerous as some may think it is. References The Skin Cancer Foundation ( 2010). Skin Cancer Facts. Retrieved August 11, 2010. http://www. skincancer. org/Skin-Cancer-Facts/ Ashton, Dr. Jennifer (2010, March 25). Heat on Tanning Beds: Feds Mull New Rules.

    Retrieved August 12, 2010. http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2010/03/25/earlyshow/health/main6332004. shtml Walker, Emily P. (2010, March 26). Minors Shouldn’t Use Tanning Beds, Panel Says. Retrieved August 11, 2010. http://www. medpagetoday. com/ProductAlert/DevicesandVaccines/19255 The Herald (2004, September 2). The Dangers of Tanning. Retrieved August 10, 2010. http://pqasb. pqarchiver. com/heraldonline/access/687286741. html? FMT=FT&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Sep+2%2C+2004&author=The+Herald&pub=Herald&edition=&startpage=6. A&desc=The+dangers+of+tanning

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