You most likely have already heard about the congressional report about tanning salons lying to customers to get their business. Investigators, posing as 16-year-old girls called 300 tanning salons across the country. Ninety percent of the salons assured the callers that there was no health risk and over seventy-five percent claimed there were health benefits to indoor tanning! Over half stated that there was no increased risk of skin cancer.
Amazing…but not surprising.
About 25 years ago, I was a young, single, somewhat geeky and skinny male that was looking for any advantage to “look better.” I had an after work routine of work-outs and/or socialization (aka…going to the bars). On Tuesdays the Thursdays, I also included a trip to the tanning salon. Thursday night was “Ladies’ Night” at the local bar and I wanted to have that glow. I had signed up for a total of 10 sessions, each one lasting between 15 and 20 minutes. I was told to set the timer myself (I sometimes set it for 25 minutes) and wipe down the bed with Windex afterwards. That was my entire maintenance instruction. I do recall that I was told tanning beds were safer than the sun. The topic of cancer never came up (I was too unaware to mention it)…only that the UV rays that burn you aren’t used….only the “good” UV rays.
Yep, the good ones that cause cancer.
So again, it’s not surprising that this recent report shows misinformation in the tanning industry. Twenty-five years ago, I blame naivety on the owner’s part. Now…it’s plain old deception. There’s no excuse at all!
On a happier note, there is legislation in several states right now regarding tanning regulation and/or banning. One has to believe that this congressional report will only help these measures get passed on the state level. Furthermore, New South Wales I Australia recently passed a tanning ban. This was in large parts to efforts by Jay Allen…a person with whom many melanoma warriors are aware. Thank you Jay!
This report is big. It’s great news. And it’s making great things happen!