Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tanning Beds Could be Put to Rest for Teens

The Canadian Cancer Society wants provincial governments to outlaw the use of tanning beds for teens 18 and under. (CTV News just reported this) The reasoning is health-related - a recent Cancer Society survey showed that young people are most likely to spend time in the sun and least likely to be protected, i.e., only "42 per cent of young men and 58 per cent of young women protect themselves from overexposure to the sun – much lower than in older populations."

This is a good move to help teens avoid skin cancers, and deadly types like melanoma. Currently, according to the survey, skin cancer rates are still rising in Canada, particularly among young people. The message of uv rays and skin cancer needs to get stronger, as teens are exposed to a couple of hours of sunlight each day. About only half use sun protection so they are currently deterioting skin cells, and with each passing year, accumulates the damaged and broken-down skin cells, thus exposing them to increased radiation. It raises future cancer risks.

A significant percentage of youth use tanning beds to tan - "27 per cent of young women use tanning equipment, which is higher than use among young men or older adults".

There is no safe way to tan from the sun or from tanning beds. Both tanning methods release ultra violet (UV) rays into the skin, not just turning it brown, but has immediate and long term consequences, causing skin damage, such as sunburns, premature aging and cataracts.

Being sun tanned is not healthy, it has risks, and will negatively affect your skin. The Canadian Cancer Society do say that if people want to look tanned, to use tanning creams - as of now, there no known risks associated with that - but keep in mind it is manufactured with chemicals of some sort.

In the meantime, keep skin covered, either with clothes, hat or with plenty of sunscreen, preferably with spf 30 or higher. Here's more info on indoor tanning and skin cancer - who's at risk and the myths of being tanned.

This is another way to cut personal health problems, risks, costs, and demand on the health care system in terms of labour and costs. Preventing problems from occurring is very doable. More health prevention is needed, and there will be more topics to come on this.

Other links on preventing health problems:
  • Teenage Waist Land
  • Our Health, and Future Health Care
  • Our Health, and Future Health Care II
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