The article in the Telegraph had the title “Tanning salons more dangerous than previously thought“.
Here is the exchange of comments between me and a guy in Australia. It starts with my first comment to the article and the continuous in chronological order:
This is just another report from the sun-scare lobby, trying to scare us into buying more and more sun-protection cosmetics.
At least one of the authors of the report is a former employee of L’Oreal, the initiator of, and the biggest beneficiary from, the sun-scare campaign.
If reading the abstract of the report itself, it just confirms that what dermatologists have been saying about protection primarily towards UVB, has been very wrong.
They are simply adjusting the message from research according to the goals their paymasters have at the moment.
See more about the sun-scare campaign here: tannersrights.com
There is plenty of cheap sunscreen out there on the market. I buy no-name brand from the supermarket or pharmacy in pump packs for me and my children. I don’t use any name brand sunscreen or cosmetics.
And if you think the sun can’t damage, think again! I am 36 with skin cancer. Fortunately, I have a variety that will hopefully not mestasticise, but plenty of people in Aus die of melanomas at a very young age. I need surgery on my face that will leave me with scarring. The surgery is going to hurt and look ugly and is a direct result of sun exposure.
People are insane if they want to use tanning beds and God help us when our governments have to pay out fortunes in cancer treatments for those that decide tanning is the go. Just another cancer to go with smoking. Cancer HURTS!!! It scars, and that is if you’re lucky enough to live through it. Grow up!!
Thank you for your advice about growing up! But I am already close to 60, which means that I am old enough to remember a time when sunshine was our friend and when doctors and parents encouraged us to be in it as much as possible. And, believe it or not, most of my generation is still alive!
With that perspective, I found it strange that sunshine (and UV-light) suddenly became that dangerous. The last two years I have been doing some, quite thorough, research in how the sun-scare started (and how it is going on). The findings are quite remarkable and show that not even the highest health authority (WHO) is immune towards “influence” from the cosmetic industrial giants.
Do you, for example, know that the thinning ozone-layer, was the first reason for sun-scare and for the increased incidences of (non-melanoma) skin-cancer? There was even organized a new monitoring organisation fot measuring the ozone-layer and to send out daily alerts about dangerous UVB levels. (note the mistake, related to the new findings in the report above, they focused on UVB, because the ozone-layer doesn’t influence much on UVA).
Guess who financed the organisation for the measuring of the ozone-layer? It was not WHO and it was not any government. It was L’Oreal. Their representative describes himself their involvement like this:
“The implementation of the TEMIS service results from direct interactions with parties interested in the tropospheric satellite data products –here, namely L’Oréal and the Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI). The final choice of data sets that are delivered through TEMIS depends on the requests and requirements from L’Oréal.”
Now, it turned out that the ozone-layer is not really diminishing, at least not in the parts of the world that matters for producers of sun-screen (the markets for their products around the North- and South- poles are quite small). So they had to find another reason for the increase in diagnosed skin-cancer in order to keep up the sun-scare. And so, sunbeds became the culprit.
The campaign against indoor tanning has also another benefit for the most active group in the sun-scare lobby, dermatologists. It might help them to get monopoly on a multimillion dollar market for UV-treatments. For sure, the price of a tanning session will then not be 10 $ but 100 and most of it will be paid by your tax-money.
Before anyone else try to lecture me based on media-reports from press-releases from the sunscare lobby, I ask you to study the background materials at least to the same extent as I have done. And, if you are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin-cancer, to get at least a second and third opinion before you let someone put the scalpel into your skin (see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harmon-leon/is-profit-behind-dermatol_b_640929.html)
I don’t think that our views differ that much, except that I remember a time without the sun-scare.
You are free to buy and cover yourself and your family with cheap chemical sunscreen, and I want people to be free to enjoy the health-benefits from sunlight (and sun-lamps) without anyone manipulating the system in order to scare them away from this life-giving source (and for commercial reasons).
I am not advocating tanning just for the sake of getting as dark as possible. I am promoting regular, moderate and responsible tanning for the sake of getting vitamin D in the way nature intended us to make it.
The brainwash from the sun-scare lobby has made most people believe that all sun-exposure is life threatening. In fact, statistic shows that is is much more dangerous to have too little sun than too much. When was the last time you measured your vitamin D level?
To castigate all kind of sun-exposure (UVB) that triggers the melanocytes to produce more melanin (that can be oxidized by UVA) in order to build up a natural defense against sunburn, is approximately the same as accusing athletes of causing cell-damage with their training.
With your background in medical ethics, you really ought to be able (and interested in) to see which are the driving forces behind the sun-scare messages.
For example, and let’s get back to the report we are commenting on, take the headline of the press-release that was echoed (and tweeted by an army of tweeters) all over the world: “Tanning salons more dangerous than previously thought”. Where do you think that headline came from?
In the report (which you can buy from Journal of Investigative Dermatology for 32US$) neither tanning, tanning salons or tanning beds are mentioned at all.
A more correct headline related to the result of the research would have been: “We have been wrong all the time in our advice to disturb the delicate balance between the human body and sunlight, developed during millions of years, with our chemical sun-protection cosmetics focused on filtering only UVB”. That is exactly the conclusion that can be made from reading the report.
So who spun the press-release to fit into the ongoing campaign against teenagers usage of tanning beds? Of course the PR-people behind the sun-scare lobby. Do you know how much it costs the get the amount of media coverage they are getting for every similar press-release? I can tell you it is much more than any research-institute even would dream of spending by themselves.
Another observation in the report is that the measurements are based upon erythemal (i.e. burning) exposure to either UVA or UVB light. Burning, in the open sun and in tanning beds must of course be avoided, however, not by laws or scary propaganda for total sun-avoidance but by relevant information about how to tan for a healthy and natural production of vitamin D.
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