We Are Sunshine

Delaware newspaper uncovers UV truth

Friday, March 5th, 2010

2010-03-05 Delaware newspaper uncovers UV truth copyA Delaware newspaper on Thursday reported what the rest of the world’s media failed to correctly identify last summer: That the World Health Organization’s report alleging a connection between tanning and melanoma really had very little bite beyond it’s bark.

“A report published last summer by the World Health Organization summarized that ‘there was no consistent evidence for a dose-response relationship between indoor tanning exposure and risk of melanoma,” The Delaware News Journal reported. “The report’s strongest study — which followed more than 100,000 women over eight years — found that less than three-tenths of 1 percent who tanned frequently developed melanoma while less than two-tenths of 1 percent who didn’t tan developed melanoma. Almost all the other studies in the report did not establish a strong link between the two.”

In other words: The difference between the tanners and the non-tanners was one-tenth-of-one percent in the strongest report alleging a connection, and the group at greatest risk was well below one percent overall risk.

“Opponents of indoor tanning have emphasized one statistic in the report to justify increased regulations, a conclusion that the risk of getting melanoma is 75 percent higher among people who begin using tanning salons under age 30, compared with those who don’t,” the News Journal reported. “The overall risk of contracting melanoma — whether using tanning beds or not — remains well under 1 percent.”

The News Journal even talked with Dr. Lisa M. Schwartz, whose book “Know Your Chances” attempts to help consumers understand health statistics and how misleading they can be.

“Melanoma is pretty rare and almost all the time, the way to make it look scarier is to present the relative change, the 75 percent increase, rather than to point out that it is still really rare,” Schwartz told The News Journal.

To read the article click here.