Association for tanning salon owners claims sunbeds DON'T cause skin cancer… but it seems they're still the only ones
19:08 GMT, 20 December 2012
Despite being associated with serious health risks, a new organization is touting the benefits of sunbed use.
The World Health Organization classifies UV tanning devices as harmful and 'carcinogenic to humans', but the American Suntanning Association says it wants to 'factually dispel these myths'.
Board member Diane Lucas, who owns a
salon chain in Dallas, said: 'There are many misconceptions about the
risks associated with indoor tanning.
Dangerous habit Both the FDA and the World Health Organization classify UV radiation from sunbeds as cancer-causing, but a group of tanning salon owners are looking to 'factually dispel these myths'
'One of the primary roles of the ASA is to address and factually dispel these myths.'
The ASA claims that sunbed studies don't take professional salons into
account and instead focus on at-home tanning equipment or medical UV devices.
'When home and medical sunbeds are
removed from these studies, the risk connected to professional salons
virtually disappears,' an ASA press release states.
'There are many misconceptions about the risks associated with indoor tanning'
It also highlights that vitamin D deficiency has become a global epidemic, and a 'balanced message about UV exposure needs to take place'.
Bart Bonn, an ASA board president based in Omaha, said: 'It is time to have a higher-level discussion about UV light from the sun and from sunbeds.
'The ASA is going to be a constructive
party in that discussion, demanding a consumer-first conversation
differentiating proper sun care from blatant overstatements about the
risks of UV exposure.'
According to the ASA 30 million
Americans will visit tanning salons across the U.S. this year and three million will be referred to salons by their doctor.
Spreading the message: The American Suntanning Association says it wants to 'correct misconceptions about sunbed salons' and has launched a website encouraging members to join
Another ASA member, Jan Meshon, from New York, added: 'When organizations who benefit by improperly vilifying all UV exposure compare the manageable risks of sunlight to arsenic and plutonium in public statements, something's seriously wrong. We need to correct that.'
The ASA is appealing to consumers through its website www.AmericanSuntanning.org.
Around 50,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S every year.
The World Health Organization states: 'As with sun exposure, recent studies indicate a relationship between the use of sunbeds and malignant melanoma as well as non-melanoma skin cancers.'
Its researchers found young people who use sunbeds are 75per cent more likely to develop malignant melanoma.