International Skin Cancer Awareness Network

International Skin Cancer Awareness Network


WHO Statement
Tanning beds cause cancer:

  • CBC report with comments Tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation cause cancer and have been moved up to the highest risk category by international cancer experts. The new classification means tanning beds and UV definitely cause cancer in humans, just as tobacco smoke, the hepatitis B virus and mustard gas do. Experts upgraded the level after a comprehensive analysis of about 20 studies concluded that the risk of skin melanoma is increased by 75 per cent when people started using tanning beds before age 30.

  • CTV National News story - July 28, 2009 Avis Favaro reports.

    The video should be viewable on July 29th.

There's Nothing Healthy About a Tan
Dark Side of Tanning - Australia TV Ad

The Truth Behind Tanning

If you think tanning gives you a healthy glow, think again. Here's a reminder of some hard-hitting facts.

  • Tanning is skin cells in trauma, trying to protect themselves from cancer.
  • One damaged skin cell can start a melanoma growing.
  • A melanoma need only be 1mm deep to spread to other parts of the body.

Dying for a tan
60 Minutes Australia

Solariums in Australia linked to melanomaOn September 13, 2007 a brave young Australian woman named Clare Oliver was taken from this earth by malignant melanoma. She blamed her death directly on her exposure to solariums (sunbeds) as a teen. Sixty Minutes, Australia's award winning television show dedicated her struggle with melanoma and her determination to help force the government of Australia to regulate the solarium industry. They placed the transcript and video on their web site, however, some of us have had trouble viewing the video.

Melanoma Videos AAD - Tanning Beds Can B Like Asking 4 Skin Cancer American Academy of Dermatology
Sunbed Videos

   Skin Cancer Public Service Advertisements

On an average day, more than one million Americans tan in tanning salons. Of the customers, 70 percent are Caucasian girls and women, aged 16 to 49 years. These numbers continue to rise each year, despite research which demonstrates the risks of indoor tanning, including premature aging such as age spots and wrinkles, and even worse, the danger of skin cancer. To help educate the public, particularly teenagers, the Academy’s 2006 – 2007 skin cancer public service advertisement (PSA) campaign speaks to teens in a language they can understand, instant messaging (IM). Approximately 53 million American computer users – most of them teens – use IMs. Many exchange IMs more frequently than e-mail. It has a language all its own, and the Academy has developed this campaign specifically for teens who use it.

The campaign consists of television, radio, print and Internet advertisements that highlight the risks of skin cancer and skin damage that indoor tanning can cause. It's really a kool place to visit.

    Skin cancer seeps into a younger crowd

   Melanoma affects a growing number of patients - even kids

Jaime Regen Rea has melanomaJaime Regen Rea spent her childhood summers basking by the neighborhood swimming pool, steadily burning to a crisp. Jaime Regen Rea, whose melanoma was diagnosed when she was 20, tries on wigs at Special Needs by Gloria in Dallas, ahead of chemotherapy treatment. The Allen resident was the self-described "stupid kid" in high school who visited tanning salons nearly every day. She wanted to be cool, and cool meant tan. Then in 1997, during a routine exam, a doctor noticed a suspicious mole about the size of a nickel on her shoulder blade. It turned out to be melanoma. She was 20.

Tan is artificial; threat is genuine

  • Experts fear salons are no safer than sun, but level of risk is unclear
  • The tan you buy may be no safer than the one that comes for free. Once hoped to offer a better way to brown, tanning salons now take as much heat from medical experts as the sun. The World Health Organization recently stated that artificial tanning "may provide the ideal setting for the development of malignant skin cancer" because users get periodic bursts of intense radiation. In addition, people in tanning beds often place their whole bodies under the ultraviolet light, leaving about twice the surface area exposed to direct rays.
    Volunteer for Skin Cancer poster
    • Avis Favaro asks tanning salons some common safety questions Half of the tanning salons visited by undercover reporters were not truthful about the potential for harm. Steve Gilroy, of the Joint Canadian Tanning Association did not explain why after all these years that the industry has had to act responsibly, that they still don't get it. There is no mandatory certification, and no Federal certification of tanning shop employees. In other words, these owners and operators can say and do anything they want at your expense.

    • Why the tanning industry doesn't like the poster - The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) is made up of members from the Certified Suntanning Association of Manitoba (CSAM), the Ontario Tanning Association and the Quebec Tanning Association. “We’ve sat down to discuss possible strategies needed to convince the Cancer Society that what they’re doing is wrong,” said Steven Gilroy, CSAM President. “We’ve retained the services of a lobbyist to help us in this battle, and we plan to contact the CCS to discuss it with them.” The plan to address the poster, however, will have to take the back burner for now.
    • What one industry group proposes to do about it - and they aren't from Canada....pity. "Regulatory issues are heating up. Fortunately, the industry is organized to address them as they arise."

      [These creeps will do anything to keep their members' pockets full of all the goodies that comes with selling ultraviolet radiation to the masses.]

    Rays raise controversy - Toronto Star - July 9, 2004 Sunshine's getting a bum rap these days and totally shunning its warming rays is unhealthy, a controversial doctor says. Contrary to established medical wisdom, Dr. Michael Holick says moderate sun exposure is good for you because it promotes production of vitamin D — especially in places like Toronto where people get next to no sun exposure in winter months.

    But doctors like dermatologist Patrick Kenny, a spokesperson for the Canadian Dermatology Association, say Holick's advice is foolish and dangerous. "No tan is a good tan," Kenny says. "People need to cover up, stay out of the sun and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen."

    [Not one bloody mention by anyone in this article about sunbeds!!!]

  • Google search for Michael Holick
  • Google News search for Michael Holick
  • for Michael Holick
  • Federation of Canadian Naturists support Michael Holick's position
  • HealthWatcher Books from Amazon by Michael Holick

    Michael F Holick Books
    Sun Risks and Benefits

    Sunbed Hazards - Reviews

    • Diagnosing, Treating and Preventing Skin Cancer - CNN House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta Aired July 3, 2004 The most common form of cancer is preventable, and yet it has been increasing at an alarming rate. We're, of course, talking about skin cancer. Its deadliest form, melanoma, will kill someone every hour this year. And as Elizabeth Cohen explains, its victims are getting younger.

    • A Killer Tan - Prevention Magazine - March 26, 2004
      Burning issue: Are UV rays in tanning beds really safe?
      by Hallie Levine Murky science and controversial claims are nothing new for the indoor-tanning industry, which used to advertise its tanning devices as safer than the sun. Now, it employs marketing practices that are even more aggressive than the tobacco industry's methods prior to the antismoking backlash of the 1970s. "When the first research came out showing that smoking was dangerous, the tobacco industry's response was always, 'We don't know. There's just not enough science,'" says Spencer. "But here, the tanning industry is not just saying it's not dangerous; it's saying tanning is actually good for you. The tobacco industry never said that, to my recollection."

      The tanning industry's other major point--that avoiding the sun (or sunlamps) may put you at increased risk of prostate, lung, breast, colon, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers--is based on research conducted by William Grant, PhD, a NASA scientist whose work is partially funded by the Indoor Tanning Association. These claims, detailed in an October 2003 industry press release, have been dismissed by the dermatology community. "It is dangerous to mislead the public into thinking sunlight is a safe and effective 'cure' for other health conditions," says Raymond L. Cornelison Jr., MD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

      For all the urgency the tanning salon industry places on cancer prevention and health, the one disease it downplays is skin cancer--especially melanoma.

    • Are you dying to be dark?
      The Backlash
      by Rod Van Mechelen Before you go to a tanning salon or use a tanning bed, get the facts. Touting the benefits of tanning salons over outdoor sunbathing is like promoting filtered versus non-filtered cigarettes. Either way, it's a bad idea. Indoor tans make you look old before your time, and they can kill you.

    Melanoma linked to tanning beds

    • 'Ban young from using sunbeds' - BBC - January 16, 2003
      Young people should be banned from using sunbeds, one of the UK's top skin experts has suggested. "Effective laws could limit the use of sunbeds by young people at commercial facilities."

    • Study links tanning salons, cancer risk - Toronto Star - October 18, 2003
      A major study that involved over 100,000 Scandinavians over 8 years clinches it. Melanoma and tanning beds are linked.
    • Tanning bed research disputed - U of Georgia student newspaper - October 21, 2003.
      Note the totally irresponsible response by the Indoor Tanning Association. This organization has no idea of how their support of this out of control industry has created the atmosphere today.
    • Melanoma cases rise with sun lamp use - Newsday - October 15, 2003
      The researchers found 187 cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed among the study group. Women who regularly visited tanning salons once or more per month increased their chance of developing melanoma by 55 percent, regardless of their age or hair color. Women with blond or red hair were found to have a higher risk of melanoma from sun exposure than women with darker hair.

    ISCAN - Sunbed Hazards

    • Teens ignore tanning's risks Salons serving minors face hefty fines in growing U.S. crackdown. California may pass legislation that fines salon owners if they irradiate teens. Canada is far behind the times. Robert Muzzatti, owner of Off Beach Tanning in Toronto, says the benefits of tanning "far outweigh the hazards. The sun is the giver of all life,'' he said. "You absolutely need it to survive.''

      Dr. Louis Weatherhead, a dermatologist in Ottawa, disagrees. He says he tells his patients that there is "no such thing as a healthy tan.''

    • Public health officials see red over tanning salons - CMAJ July 4, 2003 Some public health officials in Ontario have launched a campaign to outlaw the use of tanning beds for anything beyond medically prescribed purposes. Officials in London decided to act after learning that area tanning parlours were serving children as young as 8. "We had an artificial tanning owner here providing 2-for1 tanning coupons for Grade 8 students prior to their graduation dances," explained Kaylene McKinnon, a London-Middlesex public health nurse.

    • Safety Regulations & Guidelines for Tanning Salon Facilities - but is it enforced?
    • Ontario Public Health Association resolution - This proposal for the control of the sunbed industry was passed in 1996. It has done nothing to change the industry (.pdf file). In fact the lobbying groups have gone overboard to resist any controls. Hundreds of these melanoma factories have opened up across Canada, and thousands across the U.S. since that time. The industry has basically no controls.

    • Skip the tan - Save your skin CNN It's a cancerous combination -- feeling invincible and being susceptible. That's what does young people in when it comes to sun exposure. Some have heard the message but have turned to tanning beds, thinking they were safer. Now states are passing legislation to make sure teens and older people know that baking beneath tanning lights is just as dangerous as the sun's rays.
    • Tanning beds prove dangerous Why you should care: Despite warnings, students use artificial sun for many reasons.- University of Kentucky.

    • Are you dying to be dark? Before you go to a tanning salon or use a tanning bed, get the facts. Touting the benefits of tanning salons over outdoor sunbathing is like promoting filtered versus non-filtered cigarettes. Either way, it's a bad idea. Indoor tans make you look old before your time, and they can kill you.

    • Just a Little Bit Orange - Real Tans are Evil at the website Do you think that getting a tan is healthy? Is smearing your body with grease and exposing it to nuclear radiation your idea of a good time? Do you buy the story that tanning protects your skin from additional sun exposure? Do you think tanning beds are somehow safer than tanning via the sun? Well, then.

    • BBC - Health Warnings over sunbedsProfessor John Hawk, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas' Hospital, said: "Skin cancers can take 20 years to develop and the sunbed industry is still relatively young. "There are already cases of early skin cancer in people who have frequently used sunbeds. "My concern is that in the next few years we will see a substantial increase in skin cancers and ageing in people who are regularly using sunbeds." He believes sunbeds should be banned.

    • Light: A Hazard to Children - American Academy of Pediatrics The lifetime risk of melanoma was 1 in 1500 in 1930; 1 in 250 in 1980; 1 in 120 in 1987; and, in 1996, was projected to reach 1 in 75 by 2000. In 1996, estimates were that melanoma would develop in >38,000 Americans, making this the seventh most frequent cancer,4 and that 7300 deaths from melanoma would occur. Although survival rates are high if melanoma is detected in its early stages, melanoma that has metastasized has a grave prognosis. Thus, efforts have been directed toward prevention and early detection.

      Pediatricians have an important role in education beginning in infancy and later when developmental stages result in new patterns of sun exposure (eg, when the child begins to walk, before starting school, and before entering adolescence). Preteens and teenagers may need special reinforcement as they are often susceptible to societal notions of beauty and health. In 1 survey, only one third of teenagers reported regular use of sunscreens, despite reports by most that they spend substantial amounts of time in the sun. Counseling for teenagers should include warnings about using sun beds and sunlamps.

    • give out 3 times the u.v. as the sun - Imperial Cancer Research Fund "We are concerned that people do not understand the risks they are running by getting a tan - whether from sunbathing or from a sunbed. Apart from increasing your risks of skin cancer your skin will also age much faster than someone who does not try to tan."

    Prosecution of Sunbed companies

    Sunbed studies linked to melanoma & other deadly skin cancers

    • Tanning Salon Exposure Can Lead to Skin Cancer - Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology For years, having a tan has been synonymous with health and vitality. And for those who feared the damage done to the skin by outdoor ultraviolet (UV) exposure, indoor tanning was touted as a safe alternative. However, a recent study shows that the UV exposure received from a tanning bed may be just as harmful to the skin as outdoor sun exposure, leading to the same molecular alterations believed to be necessary for the development of skin cancer.

      ``On an average day in the United States, more than 1 million people invest both time and money to visit tanning salons, despite studies which have found an increased incidence of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, in those who visit indoor tanning salons,'' stated dermatologist S. Elizabeth Whitmore, MD, co-author of ``Tanning Salon Exposure and Molecular Alterations'' published in the May 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. ``This is the first study to examine and show that similar molecular damage occurs with indoor UV exposure, as found with outdoor UV exposure.''

    • Expert warns of suntan parlor dangers - Dermatology meeting focuses on risks of melanoma and sunbeds and tanning industry. Suntan parlor tanning beds, which deliver about 99 percent UVA to the skin, present a significant danger to users--even to those who visit the parlors only 10 times a year. Dr. Michael J. Franzblau, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, said:"My concern is that many young people under the age of 30 might not have the knowledge of this risk," he said. "The industry today is a $3 billion a year industry and the peak month for usage is in college students in March because they want to look good when they go the beach during spring break."
    • "Link between sunbed use and melanoma confirmed. Westerdahl and colleagues, in a recent study found that the risk of developing malignant melanoma was significantly increased after exposure to sunlamps or sunbeds more than 10 times per year. Use of tanning devices is more common in people under 30 years of age and this age group had a 7.7 fold increased risk of skin cancer than those with no sunbed/lamp exposure (American Journal of Epidemiology, 1994; 140: 691). To combat these risks in the US population, the American Medical Association House of Delegates has passed a resolution urging the FDA to control the sale and use of tanning equipment for non-medical purposes (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, 15 December 1994 News Release)." Volume 1, July 1995.


    Odds 'n' Ends

    • Cooking with Sunbeds - a great spoof from the U.K. of what some people do with a sunbed before dinner.


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