Indoor tanning has recently become more common among teenagers in America. Indoor tanning releases ultra violent, or UV rays, which causes production of melanin, the pigment that darkens skin to produce a tan. There has also been a recent rise in the prevalence of melanoma or skin cancer in teenagers. The rise in melanoma is thought to correlate with the increased use of indoor tanning beds. According to Ellen Rolfes, a reporter for PBS, “In the United States, indoor tanning is a nearly $5 billion per year industry, providing a backbone for close to 19,000 small businesses across the country. To put this in perspective, there are 5,000 more tanning salons than McDonald’s fast food chains in America”(1). I believe that making indoor tanning laws stricter will help to lower the amount of Americas that develop life-threatening diseases.
While I was in high school I tanned daily, spending hundreds of dollars each month on tanning packages and lotions. When I first signed up for a tanning membership I was required to get my parents consent but instead I signed it myself, this is why indoor tanning regulations should be made stricter. I always knew that tanning was unsafe but I wasn’t completely aware of its dangers until I read a required article in school about melanoma. After reading that article I slowing quit tanning. As a blonde, pale complexioned, Caucasian I am already at a higher risk for melanoma. Indoor tanning increased my risk for skin cancer greatly. According to Liz Szabo, USA Today reporter “People who use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk of melanoma by 75%”(1). I was unaware of this increase until after reading that eye-opening article. Teens are more likely to use tanning beds because they are unaware of the possible health risks most adults on the other hand are aware that it is dangerous.
UV exposure can cause skin cancer, cataracts, suppression of immune system, and premature skin aging. It can also cause age spots and wrinkles to occur way before they are supposed to. One precaution that is recommended is proper eye protection such as; tanning goggles. They are supposed to be worn while in or around a running tanning bed. Many tanners however do not use the appropriate eye protection because they can often leave tan lines, resulting in what many tanners call “Raccoon eyes”. Instead of wearing the appropriate eye protection tanners often just close their eyes to reduce the chance for tan lines. The World Health Organization does not recommend the use of tanning beds for cosmetic reasons.
The US Public Health Service states that “UV radiation, including the use of sun lamps and sun beds are known to be a human carcinogen"(1). A carcinogen is something that can cause cancer; one carcinogen that most Americans are aware of is a cigarette. Melanoma is classified by which layer of the skin it effects, there are three layers of skin, the most superficial being the epidermis then, the dermis and the deepest being the...