We Are Sunshine

HEADLINE STORY: Smart Tan member responds in print, on the radio, to false IARC report

Monday, August 17th, 2009

AUG. 17, 2009 — Smart Tan member Tracey McKone, using material supplied to her by both Smart Tan and the Joint Canadian Tanning Association, authored perhaps the most effective response to date to this month’s false IARC’s report which incorrectly alleged tanning is as dangerous as arsenic or tobacco because UV light has been classified as a carcinogen.

2009-08-17-good-answer-copy.jpg“No research has ever isolated regular, non-burning exposure to sunlight or indoor tanning as a significant risk factor for any skin disorder. The message to the public should be that repeated sunburns could be harmful, and that’s why UV light from any source is classified as a carcinogen,” McKone wrote. “However do not lose sight of the fact that humans, like every living thing on the plant, NEED sunlight to live. Ninety-seven per cent of Canadians are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency because they do not get enough sun. Consider you would have to drink 100 glasses of whole milk to receive the same amount of Vitamin D received from a tan. Exposure to UV light (whether from a tanning bed or sun) is the only true natural way to make vitamin D, It’s called the sunshine vitamin for a reason!”

McKone detailed how the tanning community has helped prevent sunburn and how public health officials who applauded the IARC report had conveniently failed to acknowledge that no study has ever been designed implicating tanning in a non-burning fashion as a risk factor. “It is the industry’s belief that indoor tanning for those that can tan, is the smartest way to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks associated with either too much or to little sunlight,” she wrote. “Finally, consider this hypocrisy: The dermatology community still continues to use indoor tanning equipment in dermatology offices to treat psoriasis and other purely cosmetic disorders — a treatment called “phototherapy.” If what was widely reported last week were actually true, then the dermatology profession would be guilty of that which they accuse indoor tanning facilities: of increasing women’s risk of melanoma in exchange for treating a non-lethal disease, which would violate the “never do harm” provision of a physician’s Hippocratic Oath.”

“Saying that UV exposure is harmful and should be avoided is as wrong as saying that water causes drowning, and therefore we should avoid water.”

Smart Tan and JCTA sent much of the material McKone used in her response to all the groups’ members. “McKone maximized the usage of what she had at her disposal perhaps as effectively as any response I have ever seen,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “She did an amazing job.”

McKone also successfully attacked the false conclusions many made about the report on an Ontario radio station. Her essay appeared in the Stratford Gazette Aug. 14. To read the entire article click here.