16 April 2014
Getting a “Killer” Tan
There’s no such thing as a healthy tan, and that’s what people need to understand (Gabrielle Union). Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The most fatal form of skin cancer is melanoma, and each year, more people are getting, and dying from, melanomas (Poncelet). Authors of a new study estimate that the tanning beds cause 388,079 cases of skin cancer each year in the USA--more than twice as many as estimated in earlier analyses. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that about 30 million Americans use indoor tanning beds each year, and 2.3 million of those are teens (Szabo). The effects of tanning might not seem important, but the harm that UV rays cause can have deadly consequences (Poncelet). All use of tanning beds must be banned because the health of teens is being severely affected, the credibility of tanning salons is questionable, and cancer rates are going up.
My first argument is that the health of teens is being severely affected by tanning beds. Besides cancer, many people do not realize how tanning at a young age can negatively impact one’s skin. Wrinkles, moles, and cataracts are all commonly disliked skin features that are commonly developed by teens who tan. Cataracts are really just eye sunburns. When one is exposed to sun, and does not wear the recommended goggles, the conjunctiva or the outmost layer of the eye will burn. The conjunctiva can develop growths or cancers due to a lot of exposure to UV rays. The World Health Organization believes that 20% of those who become blind from cataracts received them because of too much exposure to the sun’s rays. Cataracts can eventually lead to blindness (Poncelet). Wrinkles have been synonymous with getting older in the eyes of some people. However, this is not always true. UV rays that one are exposed to make the skin lose its natural elasticity. This causes the skin to sag and forms wrinkles (Poncelet). Some skin moles form in response to skin. However, not all moles are related to skin exposure to sunlight. In a study published in July 1995, Richard Gallagher and his colleagues at the British Columbia Cancer Agency found a direct connection between a history of childhood sunburns and a high number of acquired nevi (medical terminology for moles) in children. Also, people with dysplastic moles have a higher risk of getting melanoma than those without them. This means that if one already has acquired moles, tanning will increase the chances of those moles to develop melanoma (Poole).
My second argument is that tanning salons may not always be telling the truth about the affects of tanning beds! Few tanning salons tell the truth about the health risks of indoor bronzing, according to an investigative report conducted by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee (Conley). Salons may take the stance that their tanning beds only make use of UVA rays, and tell customers that...