- The bulbs in tanning booths produce UVA type rays. UVA rays cause skin tanning, age spots and wrinkling of the skin, and contribute to the development of skin cancer. - Cape Henlopen and Nanticoke Dermatology, Inc.
- UVA rays cause aging, wrinkling, and loss of elasticity. - Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
- Recent laboratory evidence demonstrates that sunlamps and sun beds do cause DNA damage, and it is highly likely that excessive exposure also causes skin cancers. Thus, exposure to these artificial UV light sources should be avoided altogether. - Harvard School of Public Health
- In humans, exposure to artificial UVA has been shown to lead to an approximately 2-fold increase in melanoma . UVA should therefore be considered as a potentially carcinogenic agent and maximum precaution in its use should be taken. It is the responsibility of researchers involved in understanding human carcinogenesis to educate the general population against exposure to potentially-lethal behaviour. - Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, UPR42 CNRS-IFC1, Institut de Recherches sur le Cancer BP No. 8, 94801 Villejuif Cedex, France
- The American Academy of Dermatology has voiced concern about the UVA or UVB bulbs being used to give the general public a tan in tanning centers. Anyone wanting to use UV lights to maintain a year-round tan should be strongly discouraged. - Richmond Light Company
- The risks associated with tanning by artificial Ultraviolet light include, but may not be limited to:
- Oregon Administrative Rules 1998 Compilation, Department of Human Resources, Oregon Health Division 119 Registration of Tanning Facilities 333-119-0001
- Premature aging of the skin
- Skin cancer
- Retinal damage
- Formation of cataracts
- Suppression of the immune system
- Damage to the vascular system.
- Improper sanitation of tanning devices.
- There should be better education of the public with regard to the hazards of tanning parlors, and there should be greater regulation of tanning facilities to protect the public against inadvertent injury by ultraviolet radiation. - National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement May 8-10, 1989
- A tan represents the skin's reaction to UVR damage. Seeking a tan is not a healthy behaviour, nor is it a sensible way of preventing skin cancer. Deliberate tanning (whether from the sun or through use of sunlamps or tanning beds) is not recommended.
- Symposium Report: Second Symposium on Ultraviolet Radiation-related Diseases, Health Canada
I like playing outdoors. Hiking in the Cascade mountains, playing on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest, water-skiing in eastern Washington; there's nothing like watching the sun come up in Chinook Pass and breathing the heady mountain air laden with the scent of pine.
In the outdoors, there's no avoiding the sun and, except for a few, who would want to? Medical science, however, proves sunbathing is about as healthy as smoking and it's wise to take precautions against over exposure to sunlight. But sun - and sun tans - are part of life. In moderation, they are a part of what makes living worthwhile.
Millions of people, however, believe they look better with tanned skin. Brown, like black, is beautiful, so they tan indoors because it has been promoted as safer than sunlight. But indoor tans can kill you, too.
Tanning salons tout the "benefits" of tanning booths over outdoor sunbathing, and some have even said the balance of ultraviolet-A (UV-A) and ultraviolet-B (UV-B) they use can give you a tan without the danger posed by normal sunlight. But that's like saying filter cigarettes are better (read: less bad) for you than unfiltered cigarettes. Either way, you're asking for trouble.
If you really want darker skin, find a better way to do it. There is a drug currently undergoing testing for FDA approval that causes the body to build up melanin - the pigmentation that causes sun tans - more quickly. In other words, you tan more with less light.
Maybe this is the answer. Make everybody's skin dark. Whatever you do, unless prescribed by a medical professional, stay away from tanning beds. You may be immortal today, but it doesn't last. Give yourself time enough to love. Live healthy.
Note: Several people have asked me for advise ranging from how to cope with skin cancer to better ways to get a "tan." The best advise I can give you is, talk to your doctor.