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Trevor Johnson
Professor Culbert
Composition I
8 April 2016
Research Paper: Indoor Tanning Bed For the past twenty years, it has become very apparent that indoor tanning beds damages skin. Based on scientific research tanning can also lead to blinding eye diseases and have many other negative effects. The prolonged use of indoor tanning facilities has resulted in serious chronic conditions for the users. “The indoor tanning business has been one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, with $5 billion in estimated annual revenue (Woo, Eide par. 3).” When driving through any community or city you will almost always see a sign or window, maybe even more than one, which says “Tanning” thus making it very accessible for many women or men of any age. The reason behind this growth? Around twenty to forty percent of white females 18 years old to 25 use indoor tanning facilities (Rabbitt p. 2). Many high schoolers have picked up on this wave of increase by tanning for things such as prom, summer and even just to fit in with the social norms. “One fifth of girls in grades 9 through 12 have bathed in ultraviolet rays from a tanning device within the past year…(Ban the Tan par. 2).”
Reports show that many women say tanning is addicting because of the “desire to achieve an attractive look and trim, and for warmth, light, and relaxation (Woo, Eide p. 63).” Also ladies believe that tanning beds will you give you the vitamin C needed for the day, while tanning will provide some vitamin C levels, it doesn’t outweigh the harmful effects. Vitamins, certain drinks and other supplementation seem to be a much better option. Many women and also men have said they simply just do not have time to lay outside to tan for that desired look, mostly because of the demands school or work.
When interviewing Bailey Forell, a woman with skin cancer, she said she would have never thought it would happen to her, she knew about the dangers but still felt the results outweighed the associated risks for her because of society’s fantasies on physical appearance in today’s superficial world. Strong evidence based on years of research state that tannings beds are much more harmful to our bodies than the natural sunlight. Tanning beds expose the human body to ultraviolet rays roughly 12 times the amount the sun shoots at your skin. These ultraviolet rays eventually get to the bottom layers of your skin, beginning to damage cells that make up your DNA. Also, long term tanning will damage your collagen fibers and elastin, making your skin thinner, saggy, wrinkly and you will appear much older than your age. Again, after long term usage your immune system sends messages to your POMC (Proopiomelanocortin) gene to start making melanocytes or dark umbrellas to send to the surface of your skin. These melanocytes are brown and designed to protect your skin DNA thus making your skin tan. Technically the tan you have is a sign of damaged DNA. Cells start to replicate themselves but during the process mutations can happen which will most likely cause skin cancer (Rabbit p. 5 and 6). Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States where more than 4 million cases are diagnosed annually. “More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor tanning… (Palm p. 70). “The number of skin cancer cases linked to tanning beds every year is two times the number of lung cancer cases associated with smoking (Ban the Tan p. 2).” Approximately 9000 deaths a year are from Melanoma, the deadliest skin disease. Laying in an indoor tanning bed one time can raise the chance of getting melanoma by twenty percent and nonmelanoma skin cancer by thirty to seventy percent (Pagoto, Dellavalle par.2)(Mays, Tercyak e70). Men or women who tan before the age of 35 increase their risk of skin cancer sixty percent more than those after 35. Skin cancer doesn’t always have to lead to death it can also cause spotting of the skin, wrinkles, a leathery effect and embarrassing scars from where the cancer was removed. Tanning while using certain cosmetics, medications and tanning lotion can increase the chances of skin problems (FDA). Melanoma is the second most common cancer for women in their 20’s (Ban the Tan p. 2). At just 20 years old these ladies have skin cancer that they will have to deal with for the rest of their life with treatments and scars. This possibly could be very detrimental to a 20 year olds life if it doesn’t kill them first because how are you supposed to find love with scars all over your body and already knowing you have skin cancer? Let’s just say the number of the male gender looking for a cancerous lady is probably not very high at that age. Also in that personal interview with Bailey Forell, she states that teenagers, especially younger ones need to be well educated before they lay down in a tanning bed. New research states that younger men and women, nearly 3000 pass out from tanning beds each year (Reinberg). When entering a tanning salon usually provide a small pair of goggles for you to wear during the process. The goggles are hard to keep on your face, highly uncomfortable and usually not used by those they are offered to. Keeping your eyes open when exposed to ultraviolet rays of a tanning bed can lead to burning and redness after. According to Dr. Gary Shepard ultraviolet radiation can be linked to cataracts, which can cause blindness and macular degeneration, causing severe vision loss (Turner). Failure to wear appropriate eye protection while tanning increases the risk of damaging your eyes (FDA). Is indoor tanning taking a turn for the better? Regulations and bans have now been established for this booming industry. Among the first six states to ban tanning for children younger than 18 years in April of 2014 are California, Vermont, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, and Oregon. As of April 2015 Washington, Hawaii, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Delaware add to the list to make up 11 states with the new ban. Washington, Hawaii and Delaware have even started enforcing lawful fines up to $250 dollars on the first offense (Bulger e10-e12). The reason behind this age limit is because tanning is much riskier for younger users because the more time it has to build up and become harmful to the body. New research states that nearly 3000 Americans pass out from tanning beds each year (Reinberg). It is very apparent that tanning beds have resulted in damage of the skin and eyes. Considering everything in this paper the women and men using the facilities of a tanning salon need to be more aware of the harmful effects that can happen with just one usage let alone many more that pile on top of each other. Having skin and eye issues can become a very serious thing and possibly kill. Men and women all over the world need to develop more self-confidence and take a different route than the social norm by not relying on tanning beds so numbers of skin and eye related issues cause by tanning beds will begin to decrease.

Works Cited
“Ban the Tan.” Scientific American. World Health Organization. April 2015. Volume 312: Issue
4. Print.
Bulger, Amy L., Mayer, Jonathan E., Gershenwald, Jeffery E., Guild, Samantha R., Gottlieb,
Mark A., and Geller, Alan C. “Enforcement Provisions of Indoor Tanning Bans for
Minors: An Analysis of the First 6 US States. American Journal of Public Health. August 2015. Print.
“FDA Proposes New Safety Measures for Indoor Tanning Devices: The Facts.” U. S. Food and
Drug Administration. Department of Health and Human Services. 22 December 2015.
Web. 24 Feb 2016. Forell, Bailey. Personal Interview. 5 April 2016.
Mays, Darren and Tercyak, Kenneth P. “Framing Indoor Tanning Warning Messages to Reduce
Skin Cancer Risks Among Young Women: Implications for Research and Policy.”
American Journal of Public Health. August 2015. Print.
Palm, Melanie D. “Vitamin D A Bad Excuse for a Tan.” Skin Canc. er Foundation. Print.
Pagoto, Sherry L. and Dellavalle, Robert. “Campus Tanning Beds Could Be Killings Your
Kids.” Skin Cancer Foundation Journal. 2015. Print
Rabbitt, Meghan. “Melanoma.” Consumer Health Complete. Women’s Health: Jan/Feb 2013.
Volume 10: Issue 1. Print.
Reinberg, Steven. “Indoor Tanning Tied to Burns, Fainting, and Eye Injuries: Study.” HealthDay
Consumer News Service. 2014. Print.
Turner, Stephanie. “Protecting Eyes.” Aiken Standard. May 2015. Print.
Woo, Denise K. and Eide, Melody J. “Tanning beds, skin cancer, and vitamin D: an examination of the scientific evidence and public health implications.” Dermatologic Therapy. Wiley
Periodicals. Detroit, Michigan: 2010. Print.…...

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