Tanning stories ‘outrageously overhyped’

Published 8:53 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

Media reports comparing indoor tanning to toxins like mustard gas, cigarettes, and arsenic are outrageously overhyped (“I’ll stick with pale, thanks,” July 29).

The same “group 1” category that includes tanning beds also includes red wine, salted fish and regular sunlight — so these sensational headlines are as absurd as saying, “A glass of merlot is as deadly as mustard gas.”

UV light from a tanning bed is the same as UV light from the sunshine, which has had the “group 1” classification since 1992. So it’s no surprise that tanning beds have now been put in this catego¬ry, as it has long been understood that overexposure to UV light, whether from the sunshine or a tanning bed, is associated with increased risk of some forms of cancer.


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This is why the Indoor Tanning Association has always emphasized the importance of moderation.