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- Scare Mongering
How twisted words can distort the truth so easily
Scaremongering about suntanning and UV exposure is rife everywhere. Twisted words are the easiest ways of frightening the general public, who end up not only confused about who or what to believe, but may in fact come to rely on words and tactics that have no resounding proof or credible research.
Some typical examples are listed below:
1. People who use tanning beds face the same or worse risk of melanoma than those who lie out in the sunshine.
This statement is totally misleading. The statement relates only to the relative risk of indoor tanning compared to outdoor tanning, but ignores the important points:
a) NO study exists implicating tanning in non-burning fashion as the mechanism that increases one's risk of melanoma.
b) Comparing relative risk without discussing the relatively low absolute risk is misleading, particularly when that risk is low.
2. Those who begin to use a tanning bed before the age of 35 face a 75% higher risk for melanoma.
That statisitic has been discredited
a) Because there is still NO research establishing a mechanism by which non-burning UV exposure triggers melanoma. This figure is purely correlation and NOT causation.
b) The association itself is weak. The studies used to create this statistic included skintype 1 individuals in European countries who used tanning beds for therapeutic reasons.
When those individuals were removed, there was nolonger any increase in risk!
3. It's likely that tanning beds increase the risk for other types of skin cancers, although the research isn't yet definitive.
What does that mean? The research doesn't exist!. Again there is NO causative mechanism established in research.
4. The ratio of UVA to UVB in most tannng beds is similar to that of sunlight, but it's difficult to know exactly how much exposure you are getting because the majority of tanning studios don't calibrate beds or measure the UVA and UVB ouput.
FALSE. UVA & UVB levels are measured by using schedules fromthe manufacturer based on delivering non burning levels of light to a tanner.
5. People who tan indoors are actually less protected from UV rays because they tend to wear fewer clothes than they would outdoors.
What that has to do with anything, cannot be explained by research!
6. Researchers still don't know exactly how much tanning bed exposure is needed to increase the odds of developing melanoma.
In other words, NO research exists identifying moderate tanning as a significant risk factor. The statement is worded as if the question "what amount is carcinogenic" when in fact NO ONE knows if any amount is, because the mechanism still hasn't been identified!
ALL OF WHICH BEGS TO QUESTION: WHY DO ANTI-TAN SCAREMONGERS NEED TO DISTORT FACTS IN ORDER TO TRY AND MAKE THEIR CASE?
The Intentional Misleading of the public by the Social & Behavioural Unit in New Zealand (SBRU)
The SBRU audit report irrelevantly claims that "some tanning equipment has the capacity to emit levels of... (UVR) as much as five times more intense than the summer sun at noon in Australia". Alternately, a claim by Ms. Janet Jopson in the SBRU media release summary (later clarified for me by Ms. Jopson as originating from the QIMR report) states that "Sunbeds can emit ultraviolet radiation as much as 36 times stronger than the summer midday sun." Her comment refers to the AS/NZS 2635:2002 Standard, which currently allows for a piece of tanning equipment to emit a UVI of 36.
NIWA research scientist Dr. Richard McKenzie advises that the New Zealand "summer midday sun" UVI is 12. Therefore a sunbed conforming to the voluntary standard in New Zealand may emit THREE times the intensity of the summer midday sun, not 36 times. The recommended upper limit for emission is quite different to the actual emission a person may receive when using a controlled ultraviolet radiation exposure device. Additionally, the quoted UVI figure is a measurement of UVR per hour.
To use the example of the AS/NZS 2635:2002 Standard's allowance for lamp emission; a UVI of 36 is therefore, actually, a UVI of just 0.6 per minute. Multiply this by a session of, say 12 minutes, gives a "delivered" UVI of 7.2 which is actually 40% less than the summer midday sun delivers in an hour. In light of these facts, Ms. Jopson's quote seems quite intentionally to be misleading."
It is surely only a matter of time before the public come to realise that scare tactics serve no purpose when it comes to eduction or truth. Eventually such scaremongering will eave a very nasty taste bewhind and new studies by such personnel may well find themselves with no one believing anything they have to say in future!
ALWAYS tan in credible suntan studios - such as those offering tanning services by trained, SMART TAN operators. megaSun is proud to be one of the credible operators in New Zealand in an industry that is often regarded as sleazy and misleading. Nothihg could be further form the truth at out studios. We never allow unlimited sessions and all clients must complete our registration form. Where necessary, we will contact medical personnel prior to allowing some clients to tan.
The golden rul of tanning is NEVER BURN!