Are Tanning Beds Safe? No, Not Even In Moderation
Are tanning beds safe?
A bill to ban minors from using tanning beds in salons has passed the Arizona House and reached the Senate.
House Bill 2493 would ban tanning salons in one of the nation’s sunniest states from serving anyone under 18.
The Arizona lawmaker proposed the ban as a way to cut down on skin cancers later in life.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the lifetime risk of skin melanoma increases by 59% among people who began using UV tanning devices before the age of 35.
“In the 1930s, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma was one in 1,500. Now, it’s one in 50.
And that is almost entirely due to recreational sun exposure,” said Dr. Ronald Hansen, MD of Phoenix, AZ.
Currently, fifteen US states and one territory ban the use of solarium tanning for all minors under 18.
Those states are:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
Eleven European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom) also ban the use of tanning beds to minors.
Australia and Brazil are the only countries that have completely banned Solariums (sunbeds and tanning beds) for all ages.
Brazil first banned them for minors back in 2003, and eventually expanded it to all ages in 2009.
Are tanning beds safe in moderation
The short answer to that question is No.
According to Sun Smart Saskatchewan, tanning beds are NOT safe even in moderation.
The more you spend in a tanning booth, the higher the risk of developing skin cancer.
Evidence from multiple studies has shown that exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Tawny Dzierzek, a 27-year-old nurse from Kentucky, explained the ‘Are tanning beds safe’ question rather well.
Tawny was a tanner as a teenager and has since been diagnosed with skin cancer on six different occasions.
“If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like,” she wrote in a Facebook post along with the photo below.
“Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it.”
Tanning beds and Vitamin D
A tanning bed will never provide you with the vitamin D that you need.
Most tanning devices primarily emit ultraviolet A, which is relatively ineffective in stimulating vitamin D synthesis.
While there is no question that vitamin D is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system, most people can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for short periods with their forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered.
Another easy way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D is to include a variety of oily fish.
Vitamin D is mostly found in small healthy fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, and sardines.
Having a blood test to measure the amount of vitamin D in your blood is the only way to know if you’re getting enough vitamin D or not.
If your results come back showing that your vitamin D is low, Vitamin D supplements may be helpful, but you should speak with your doctor first and take them strictly as directed.