Indoor Tanning Beds How Safe Are They

Indoor Tanning Beds How Safe Are They

A tanning bed is​ a​ cosmetic device that emits ultraviolet radiation such as​ UVA and​ also UVB to​ generate artificial tanning. Historically, medical devices that emit UVA were developed and​ adopted for​ modern indoor tanning. Since UVA (Ultraviolet a​ of​ the​ sun) has less biological effects such as​ reddening of​ the​ skin than UVB (Shortwave Ultraviolet rays), these early tanning beds were considered to​ be “safe”. However, it​ was soon realized that continued use of​ these devices could also cause sunburns, wrinkles, skin cancer, and​ were not very effective at​ inducing tans, so they were eventually phased out. Today, devices that emit a​ combination of​ UVA and​ UVB are predominantly used.

One of​ the​ strongest criticisms to​ the​ use of​ indoor tanning beds occurred in​ December, 1994, when the​ American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a​ resolution calling for​ a​ ban on the​ sale and​ use of​ tanning equipment, except for​ medical purposes. However, this resolution was rejected by the​ United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an​ organization that regulates the​ sale and​ marketing of​ indoor tanning equipment.

It has now been established that modern tanning beds and​ sun lamps typically emit about 93% to​ 99% UVA radiation - three times the​ UVA radiation given off by the​ sun. Tanning occurs when the​ skin produces additional pigment (coloring) to​ protect itself against burn from these ultraviolet rays. Continued exposure to​ UV rays can result in​ a​ number of​ unwanted complications such as​ eye injury, premature skin aging, light-induced skin rashes, and​ chances of​ developing skin cancer. UVB can even cause actual skin burning.

There are three types of​ common skin cancers - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and​ melanoma – and​ they are all linked to​ UV radiation. the​ first cause, according to​ medical research, is​ mutations caused the​ damage inflicted to​ DNA. Secondly, UV also activates oxygen molecules that damage DNA and​ other cellular structures; and​ lastly, localized immunosuppression, that blocks the​ body's natural ability to​ protect itself from cancer. the​ first two types - basal cell and​ squamous cell - are treatable if​ detected early but malignant melanoma is​ often fatal.

A study conducted in​ Sweden concluded that people who used tanning beds more than 10 times a​ year were seven times more likely to​ develop malignant melanoma than those who did not use tanning beds as​ often, establishing the​ fact that tanning beds are a​ major factor that contributes to​ the​ development of​ malignant melanoma.

Other studies have shown that over exposure to​ ultraviolet rays can also burn or​ damage the​ retina, and​ alter the​ structure of​ the​ lens forming a​ cataract, which if​ left untreated may result in​ complete blindness. Ultraviolet rays can also cause premature skin aging since a​ tan is​ damaged skin that is​ more likely to​ wrinkle and​ sag, and​ when in​ combination with certain cosmetics and​ medicines, may cause adverse skin reactions such as​ rashes and​ cold sores.

In spite of​ all the​ health risks associated with indoor tanning beds, it​ is​ estimated that 28 million Americans are tanning indoors annually at​ about 25,000 tanning salons around the​ country. the​ indoor tanning industry in​ the​ United States also continues to​ thrive, raking in​ as​ much as​ $2 billion a​ year.

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