Dying for a sun tan?

Dying for a sun tan?

With Winter drawing close it is no surprise that more and more people are turning to sunbeds to top up their fading Summer’s tan. However, whilst three minutes on the sunbed here and there may seem innocent and harmless, when you put it under the microscope it’s far from it.

Members of the public are still regularly using the sunbeds even though they are fully aware of the risks and to add to this tanning salons are not discouraging the public from using their beds. Five out of the eight salons that I enquired at said they would be willing to allow me to use the sunbeds once a day for a month. One tanning salon said: “We will not be held responsible for the choices made by customers. It is upto the clients when they want to use the sunbeds and for how long.”

Only two of the tanning salons I spoke to said they had strict rules about when customers use their sunbeds and the maximum they can use them for at a time is 12 minutes.

But are the clients fully aware of the risk the are taking when stepping into the sun-booths? Studies conducted by Cancer Research UK found that we are increasing our risk of skin cancer by half by using the sunbed only once a month. By allowing us to tan everyday for a month, it seems tanning salons are sending us to an early grave.

The consequences of over-using sunbeds were brought to light in Newcastle last month after mother of two, Dorne Graydon, died. She contracted cancer from topping up her tan several times a week. Dorne, who lived in Newcastle, was told she had cancer when she noticed a mole and the disease later spread to her lymph glands and blood. 

Each year 60,000 of new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK. More than 1,500 people die from the type of cancer (miligant melanoma) which can be caused by over exposure to UV radiation in childhood and teenage years. However, even with these statistics more than five million people in the UK use a sunbed every year.

Experts have warned that the risk of developing skin cancer has trebled in the last decade due to the sunbeds UV rays being stronger. The dangers of using sunbeds have become so apparent in recent years that it has lead to the calling of local authority leisure centres to ban the use of sunbeds on their premises. But this does not prevent the public from visiting tanning salons around the country. 

Carrie-Anne Lee, an 18 year old sunbed user, claimed she used sunbeds “to make herself look more tanned and healthier”. When in reality it is more likely her skin will end up leathery and saggy.

So ditch your goggles boys and girls, and get your mitts on! Tanning lotions are easy to use and will keep your glow healthy.