We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE STORY: Illinois student totally mis-states science in anti-sun essay

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

“Research very strongly relates indoor tanning to skin cancer, especially for fair skinned individuals because tanning lamp beds emit UVA rays three times stronger than the sun. These rays, which penetrate skin at a deeper level than the UVB rays, can alter DNA in the skin, causing cancer. We’ve all been warned about the dangers of smoking, but UVA rays rank right up there with cigarettes as carcinogens.” — University of Illinois student Katie Dunne, in an anti-tanning column in The Daily Illini.


Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy sent this reply to The Daily Illini:

Hyperbole will not help make your point. To suggest even for a second that UV (which humans need to survive and thrive) is comparable to cigarettes is ludicrous. It also cheapens the extreme importance of anti-tobacco efforts. Consider:

  • Smoking introduces unnatural carcinogens into the body and tobacco is related to 1 in 3 deaths today.
  • UV light is natural and is intended – we all need UV in order to be healthy.

To say that UV is harmful and therefore should be avoided is akin to saying that water causes drowning, and therefore we should avoid water. It is a gross oversimplification that makes the statement completely inaccurate.

Bottom line: There is no research that isolates indoor tanning in a non-burning fashion as a significant risk factor for any skin cancer.

Please visit for the whole truth. The indoor tanning community’s scientifically valid position is part of the solution.

To read the entire story click here.