There are two sides to every story, and tanning is no exception. You've heard the tanning industry's take on it, but here's a second opinion: Tanning beds are linked to many forms of skin cancer, and the health claims around tanning aren't as good as they appear.
Inside the industry.
The tanning industry is promoting the idea that tanning is healthy. There are a lot of claims about tanning floating around—it provides necessary vitamin D, it gives you a protective base tan and it’s safe in moderation. However, this disclaimer on the Joint Canadian Tanning Association website tells a different story:
“There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article or touching on medical matters is true, correct, precise or up-to-date.”7 Taken March 16, 2012
If the tanning industry isn’t going to stand behind any of these claims, then you probably shouldn’t either. Know the facts, so you don’t get burned.
There’s no such thing as "smart tanning".
Many tanning salons advocate "smart tanning" or tanning in moderation. However, it's tough to believe that they are committed to moderation when the majority of tanning salons ignore Health Canada's tanning guidelines. A study commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society of Ontario showed that 60% of tanning facilities didn't ask the age of tanners or assessed their type of skin for the possibility of burning, and 99% didn't advise those with a probability of burning not to tan.8 Not to mention that any more than 10 artificial tanning sessions over a lifetime can double your risk of melanoma.9
Does this sound like "moderation" to you?
100 tanning minutes for $10
One month of unlimited tanning beginning with your first session
Your first 50 minutes are free when you purchase any package minutes
Didn't think so.
7 JCTA Website (2012). “Disclaimer” Retrieved Friday March 16, 2012 from: http://www.tancanada.org/disclaimer.php
8 Canadian Cancer Society. 2008. “Canadian Cancer Society calls for regulation of artificial tanning industry in Ontario — Study confirms need for provincial legislation”
9 Cust, A. E., Armstrong, B. K., Goumas, C., Jenkins, M. A., Schmid, H., Hopper, J. L., Kefford, R. F., Giles, G. G., Aitken, J. F. and Mann, G. J. (2011), Sunbed use during adolescence and early adulthood is associated with increased risk of early-onset melanoma. International Journal of Cancer, 128: 2425–2435.