On February 11th, our Physician Assistant Michelle Roy testified in front of the executive committee in favor of Bill 1351. This Bill was put forth by a melanoma survivor and local Representative from Rochester, David Miller.
The Bill if passed would prevent children under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. Similar bills have been passed in many states including California and Vermont.
During the hearing, testimony was given both in support of and opposition to Bill 1351. Here at Dermatology & Skin Health, we felt that it was important to put into writing some truths regarding the dangers of tanning beds, as there is much misinformation about the safety of tanning that is propagated by the billion dollar tanning industry.
1. Getting a tan prior to vacation is safe and better for me than burning while on vacation.
False. No tan is a good tan, and burning your skin is worse. Getting a tan prior to vacation from a tanning bed gives you an SPF equal to 4…no real protection. Your skin being tanned is actually the body’s response to injury.
2. Tanning beds emit healthy UV rays that are safer than being out in the sun.
False. The World Health Organization has classified the rays emitted by tanning beds to be in the same class, Carcinogenic to humans, as asbestos, plutonium, and tobacco smoking
3. One round of tanning can’t hurt me…
False. One indoor tanning session increases one risk for developing Squamous cell skin cancer by 67 %, Basal cell skin cancer by 29% and Melanoma by 20%