How Safe Are Tanning Beds? - Tanning Beds And Skin Cancer
Are the benefits worth the risk?
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In the winter, people look like pale snowmen.
If you go on holidays in that time and come back to the office, people will admire your tan.
It will give you attractiveness plus 10.
Why then should we not use tanning beds?
It's convenient, fast and the tan even increases the visibility of your gains.
Even I go to tanning beds sometimes.
But just because QG does it, doesn't necessarily mean, that it's healthy.
Generally UV-light is a group 1 carcinogen.
A group 1 carcinogen is basically a substance, that is known to increase one's cancer risk.
And here's the shocker: There's no such thing as a safe tan.
DNA damage is necessary to tan in the first place.
Also, a tanned skin has a sun protective factor of about 2 to 4.
Which is nothing in comparison to sunscreen.
Tanning in a tanning bed to prevent sun burn is therefore not effective.
We will often hear, that tanning beds increase your risk of getting melanoma, the bad type of skin cancer which just waits to fuck you up, by up to 75 percent.
75 percent is a huge number, this may sound shocking.
But how high are the rates for melanoma in the first place?
Your lifetime risk of acquiring melanoma is about 2.6% if you're a white person.
If we add 75% to that equation, we put this risk to about 4.5 percent, in a lifetime.
This percentage may even be lower, as the indoor tanning people are already featured in that 2.6 percent.
Generally speaking, one in 20 people that tan frequently and under the age of 35, get melanoma once in their life.
But if skin cancer is so prevalent, how did our ancestors survive?
Isn't sunscreen the root of all evil? I don't think so.
First of all, most of our ancestors had body hair all over, which dampened the sun exposure.
Next, when we started walking on two rear limbs we minimized the area that is exposed to sunlight.
After the switch to walking on two legs, we only have our head exposed to sun rays, instead of our entire back.
That's one of the reasons why we still have hair on our heads, one of the tasks of body hair is to minimize UV rays.
Nonetheless the risk of the bad skin cancer has more than tripled in the last 40 years.
The increased rates may be due to our crappy diet and our sedentary lifestyle, which lower the response of our immune system, which are a risk factor for melanoma in the first place.
But the rates can also be explained due to our changed beauty standard.
This standard likely came from Coco Chanel, which caught a sexy tan in 1923, when she went on a cruise on the French Riviera.
When she arrived in Paris, her peers admired her dark glow.
The tan became a sign of wealth and beauty. Having dark skin, was in.
Generally, tanning beds are not to be recommended.
Multiple countries have banned the use of them already.
The risk may not have increased to a level where everyone is at risk.
But nonetheless tanning is a modifiable risk factor for skin cancer.
If you can prevent the occurence of a disease, why not do it?
And the government takes action.
In tanning beds we see a harmful industry but not a powerful one.
With 2bn revenue in 2017 and only 35.000 employees, the restrictions can be radical.
Brazil and Australia have banned indoor tanning altogether. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have banned indoor tanning for people younger than age 18.
But just imagine if we had an even deadlier industry, responsible for the leading cause of death: Heart disease.
With 610.00 deaths in the US alone.
Now just imagine if this industry had a revenue of over 200 billion dollars per year and an employment of more than 400.000 people, sadly there would be no restrictions possible for a government in a competitive environment.
Even though the product is a known carcinogen too.
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