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Looks That Could Kill Essay

2119 words - 9 pages

In 1906, a medical company in Germany invented the first ultraviolet light. The light was initially used to treat patients with rickets, which supplied the patients with the Vitamin D they were lacking. Rickets is a disease, mostly occurring in children, that results from the body not having enough Vitamin D or calcium, therefore causing the bones to be weak. After much research, scientists now realize it’s much safer to acquire Vitamin D through diet and supplements. But, as with a countless amount of other inventions and discoveries throughout time, this invention of the UV light has been abused and is not used as what it was originally made for. In the 1970s, Friedrich Wolff, a German ...view middle of the document...

Although tanning beds are not advised for anyone, they are especially discouraged to the younger users that are getting an early start on the trend. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma. In response to this, according to the FDA, “some states are considering laws to ban those under age 18 from using tanning beds. Many states even have laws now that require minors to have a parent’s consent or be accompanied by a parent to the tanning facility”. In addition to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, a 2002 study by the National Cancer Institute found that tanning bed light was associated with a 50 percent increase in the risk of basal cell carcinoma and a 100 percent increase in the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. The abundance of scientific data proving that tanning beds are damaging to one’s health is truly ceaseless and can be found nearly anywhere. A person’s chance of developing some kind of skin cancer significantly increases after using ultraviolet light; this again confirms that the ultraviolet light in tanning beds is anything but safe.
Tanning beds mainly emit ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, but also emit ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply and damage cells around the dermal-epidermal intersection of the skin. This is where skin cancer is most likely to develop. UVB rays are responsible for stimulating melanin, the pigment in the skin that darkens the skin tone. UVB rays penetrate the top players of the skin and therefore are also responsible for sunburns, which is very unhealthy for the skin. According to the Melanoma Foundation, tanning beds “emit up to 15 times more UV radiation than the sun”. Many overlook the destructive power of a tanning bed’s UV rays. Although it rings true that no type of exposure to the sun’s damaging rays is good exposure, indoor tanning is much more harmful and very much avoidable. Contact with the sun’s UV rays is inevitable and precautions can and should always be taken when one’s skin is exposed to the sun’s powerful UV rays. The sun emits the same two types of UV rays as a tanning bed, UVA and UVB, but yet in a tanning bed the radiation is much more concentrated and direct. The rays that penetrate the skin while one lies on the beach are much less concentrated and dangerous than if one were lying in a tanning bed. As previously stated, any type of UV radiation is unfavorable, but the more one receives, the more difficulties that are bound to follow.
Over 100 years after it was invented, the UV light is now the key component in every tanning bed made. Ultraviolet light quickly went from helping those with a disabling disease, to contributing to the most pervasive and problematic disease in our nation today – cancer. Considering these many diseases tanning beds contribute to and make the news for, it’s difficult to understand how society still accepts tanning beds as a means to...

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