I would like to hear from anyone who brought their child to any suntan parlor in Canada. We have had recent experiences with 13 and 14 year old children who were signed up at a Kokomo's suntanning parlour in London, Ontario. At least one of the girls was on potent anti-acne medication and should never have been allowed to tan, even with parental permission. The city of London has done nothing to curb the child abuse that occurs when parents unwittingly take their kids to get ready for Grade 8 graduation, or for the prom. This particular company's web site criticizes efforts by the dermatology community to educate the public about the risks of artificial tanning. It is sinfully lacking in honesty, especially when it concerns the exposure of young children to UVB and UVA.
Have you allowed your child to be abused
Tanning beds invade UWO campus
Students at Univ. of Western Ontario burned by sunbed operator
"I took business 020 last year and liked it so much that instead of taking biz 257 this year, I figured this would be my project," Besterd said.
Having already owned and run a Dairy Queen, Besterd said he felt he was ready to take on the tanning business and is happy with the results so far. "We've hired four students to work for us and we will be operational by the end of the week," he said.
Besterd also said he was surprised a campus the size of Western did not already have a tanning facility. "I was quite disappointed, because this is the nicest campus I've seen," he said.
Heather Buchan, an education student at Althouse also thinks the idea of a tanning salon is great. "I think a lot of students will use it. People go downtown, and now they won't have to," she said.
The coolest way to kill insectsBy Andy J. Gidwani
Andy says that he is is a "budding medical professional". Well here are some comments he made many months after the Gazette published the original article above which boosted the sun tanning industry.
Each person takes different amounts of time to reach this stage and the appeal of tanning salons is that the process is done much more efficiently. Tanning booths can burn (sorry, I mean TAN) your skin much faster than the sun, so that after a half-hour in a booth, you can vaporize any insect that's giving you problems. Pretty slick, eh?
Tanning has become so popular that there's a tanning parlour in the University Community Centre. For your convenience, I think they may also supply insects to help you gauge your progress. If you're diligent, you can tan in underground comfort and you may never need to go outside again – unless of course you need air or something.
As a budding medical professional, I've been asked on more than one occasion to state my opinion on tanning, so here it is – tanning can do wonders for your body, causing your skin to do many things it was never meant to do. It's kind of like landing on the moon – people thought we could never do it, but we managed to do it.
In fact, I bet Neil Armstrong is relaxing in a tanning booth right now – and that's not just because he owns stock in fast food heat lamps."
There is an overwhelming disparity between what tanning parlors tell their clients and what the actual medical facts are regarding indoor tanning. University campuses are targeted by unscrupulous operators. Here's what some campus news reports have to say about it.
Suntan parlors use A and B wavelengths of light, and the B wavelength usually burns skin more.
"Tanning parlors promote that they are safe because they use the A style. The long-term effect is skin cancer, because the skin is damaged," she said. "We are seeing an increase of melanoma in 30-year-olds."
Officials at Olin Memorial Health Center said no tanning is safe tanning. The center's Health Education Services Department and Resources Center publishes a leaflet that chronicles tanning safety.
The leaflet reads: "Each time skin is forced to darken itself, which is the body's response when skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, the chance of developing skin cancer later in life is increased."
Recent studies suggest that people may be more likely to get skin cancer if they tan in the sun and in the salon than if exposed to the sun only. Regina Jones, a pre-med freshman, said she goes to the tanning salon regularly, winter and summer alike.
- What are the long term effects of exposure to the sun?
- What are some of the major risk factors for getting skin cancers?
- Are artificial lights a good substitute for the sun?
|Middlesex County in London, Ontario may be the first government
in Ontario to control sunbed operators. On Monday, June 15, 1998 Dave Dauphinee,
London Free Press reporter, covered a story that may lead to regulation
of uncontrolled sunbed operators in London.
The Federal government has failed to control the industry after years of problems and complaints by doctors, and consumers. The operators of sunbed parlors, gyms, hair dressing shops, strip joints are totally out of control.
Patients who develop skin cancer because of their addiction to sunbeds, and the owners addiction to money will cost the Canadian health care system millions.
Subject: City Council should regulate dangerous sunbed operators
Date: Thu, 18 June 1998
From: Terry Polevoy
Organization: Healthwatcher.net- ISCAN
Here is the text of an e-mail I sent to City Council members today. Tonite, at 7:00 the Health Unit will present their paper on sunbed regulation. Please make sure that this letter is read at the meeting tonite. Perhaps someone might enter it, and read it aloud.
To: London City Council meeting regarding Sunbed regulation
From: Dr. Terry Polevoy, M.D., FRCP(C)
I will probably not be able to attend tonight's meeting about sunbed regulations. However, because of my background and interest, and previous complaints to the Health Unit, I am happy to assist if you want my help. In order to do this, I invite you to my web page, but first read this note.
Many years ago, I established the International Skin Cancer Awareness Network on the Internet. The sole reason for the site was to counteract the misinformation on sunbeds in our communitities in Canada, and around the world.
My first hand encounter with malignant melanoma a few years ago helped to spark my interest in the iatrogenic causes for skin cancer. Living with someone who died of the disease makes one uniquely qualified to comment, and to educate the public.
From my skin care clinic in London, I have filed numerous complaints to the London Health Unit concerning sunbed parlors. These have included patients who were treated by several sunbed parlors and who were injured because of their lack of judgement and because the operators basically didn't care. Those complaints are on file with the Environmental Health section at the Health Unit. I appreciate the work that the Unit has done, and they deserve assistance from you to control a dangerous non-medical practice in your community.
The study that they are presenting to you tonight failed on one important account, they failed to survey the ages of those who are using the machines. The increasing use of sunbeds by minors and the promotion of tanning in the media and by local entrepreneurs is outrageous.
Just to give you an example, there is one suntan parlor that is near the Wendy's and a major mall in North London. Two of my patients, (twin sisters) who were under 16 years at the time, went to the facility and admitted to attending the center more than 70 times in a three month period. They did not have their parent's permission. Their skin condition was caused by those visits.
Another sunbed parlor near Oxford and Wharncliffe allowed a patient who had just delivered a baby, and who was on at least two medications that made her exposure to ultraviolet risky and dangerous failed to take a medical history. When I contacted the sunbed parlor they said that the patient gave them a history three years before. At the time, that patient was 15 years old. The woman could have died from the U.V. exposure.
Sunbeds exist in places where your health unit has never checked. They are part and parcel of the strip-club industry. The owners, I call them pimps, of the strip clubs require their exotic dancers to tan in some of their facilities. The machines are never maintained or checked. They are dangerous.
David Patchell Evans, a local hero to some Londoners, has undoubtedly presented an attack against any restrictions on sunbed machines. He has already responded in a three page letter to local media, and had been interviewed by the media in London. Mr. Patchell Evans claims to have all the answers, but he is a uniquely qualified business person, not a health professional.
Mr. Patchell Evans, and his rapidly expanding Good Life empire sells sunbed time to unsuspecting young people. In Waterloo his huge sign at the corner of Philips and Columbia features Super Tan promotions, as well as Chiropractic care. This guru of fitness funds university programs, provides services for hospitals, and yet he has the gall to promote sunbeds at his Good Life Clubs. He is in it for the money, not for the protection of his clients. That is a given. Just ask him why he sells time on his sunbeds. Ask him how his hundreds of employees are trained. Ask him how his hundreds of employees are paid for selling that extra membership that includes time in sunbeds. Then ask him how much money and time he has spent to educate his clients on the pitfalls of ultraviolet exposure. Ask him if a discussion about the harm done by sunbeds are included in his courses that he operates at local hospitals.
My web site is called ISCAN, which means International Skin Cancer Awareness Network. It is obvious that Mr. Patchell Evans is more concerned with expanding his empire and ripping off the public in our communities, than he is in promoting any useful preventive healthcare at any of his Good Life Fitness centres.
Sun beds kill, he knows it, but it will cut into his bottom line if he has to spend even one moment on customer education, or to possibly have anything in his fitness centers come under anyone's regulation. He will never feel liable in his own mind because everyone else in the fitness business, except the YMCA is in the business to promote unsafe practices, like suntanning.
The Federal government has failed miserably in their regulation of sunbeds. The only municipality that has any regulations in place in Canada is in Vancouver.
Sunbeds continue to injure my patients now, and they will create future deaths among young adults and youngsters who continue to believe that they must tan to be successful, or beautiful. Mr. Patchell Evans and the other promoters of tanning will be dead and gone, but the problems they helped to create from their legal businesses will just be starting. The pain and suffering of future melanoma victims will effect thousands of Canadians each year.
Don't expect the Federal government to do anything for you. Take action now. Get rid of employers who require their men and women to tan to put on a show. Get rid of the untrained operators, get rid of those machines that are used to kill people for profit.
You are all invited to visit my web site before tonight's meeting, and to use it as a resource. I hope you digest what I have to say, and to consider my unique position, and my first hand knowledge in the community. I update the site as needed. There may be some dead links, but that is because some of the operators who used to advertise on the net have taken them down.
Please take my warnings seriously.
Some day, one of your friends or relatives will be affected by skin cancer, and it may have been caused by sunbed exposure in your own community.
Terry Polevoy, MD
TAKE ACTION NOW
© International Skin Cancer Awareness Network