The Dangers of Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are notorious. They are an addiction for Americans nationwide, including age groups from tweens to senior citizens. Unfortunately, the glowing skin everyone wants comes at a hefty price. It’s Abby Summers here, and I want to inform you about the news that’s buzzing around these beds.

Tanning beds omit both visible light and UV light, which is the light that leads to skin cancers such as melanoma. According to the New York Times, The World Health Organization (WHO), The American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Academy of Dermatology all equate the dangers of tanning beds to that of cigarettes. Lawmakers in Texas claim that cigarettes and tanning beds have similar percentages in risks of getting cancer. According to Examiner.com, the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, labels the UV light emitted from these beds as a carcinogen. So why even take the risk? Our society hypes us the image of a fake bake through the media, providing tons of bronzy models for women and young girls to aspire to look like. The unfortunate part is that tanning, especially in these beds, can cause serious health problems. A study done by the American Academy of Dermatology, as mentioned on ScienceDaily.com, claims that more than 25% teen girls have used tanning salon services at least once. That’s one in four! Now, law makers are trying to take action. In states like Texas and Massachusetts teens already need signed parental forms to use the tanning salon services. For teens and tweens under the age of 16, parental forms and guidance are required. Lawmakers in Texas are taking this legislation even further. They say that it is illegal for a child under the age of 18 to buy cigarettes, and since the health risk is comparable, why are kids under the age of 18 allowed to use these harmful services? So, they propose a bill that would require kids under the age of 18 to submit a signed doctor’s note to receive a tan from a tanning bed.

Still, all parties involved admit that natural sunlight is the best for you, due to the amount of vitamin D it provides you skin. BUT, you must apply sunscreen, and re-apply while you’re out there (with a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30)! Honestly, I think we should just embrace our natural skin colors, because who wants to be that “fake bake” orange anyway?
What do you think about this legislation that Texas lawmakers are going to pass? Do you agree with their intentions of protection or think there should not be a law passed about it?

Posted by Abby Summers – GirlMogul Pack Leader

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