A chamber of cancer cells: teens still pursue a tan, despite health risks

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A chamber of cancer cells: teens still pursue a tan, despite health risks

Valerie Yermal (Flickr Creative Commons)

Valerie Yermal (Flickr Creative Commons)

Valerie Yermal (Flickr Creative Commons)

Known as “beds of cancer cells” teens continue indoor tanning, well-aware of the dangers and the illegality of it in order to maintain an image. Teens love having a glowing tan year round, making them feel more confident in their appearance, but ignore the consequences that may come with it.

The Oregon Radiation Protection Services work to promote the health and safety of the people in Oregon by protecting them from unnecessary exposure to radiation. Radiation exposure can come from a variety of sources including: X-ray equipment, radioactive materials, tanning beds and other radiation-generating devices. Tanning salons globally have agreed to make it mandatory for minors to get parent consent before purchasing a tanning package. Even though tanning businesses sign an agreement, it doesn’t seem to be religiously followed. A vast majority of tanning customers are still minors.

Doing anything to keep their business successful, tanning salons have become lenient on allowing minors to tan without parent consent. Claiming that higher quality beds are better for their skin, teens grasp at the claim and still damage their skin. Tanning beds are extremely dangerous and can cause cancer.

Studies of Oregon’s Radiation Protection Services show that the UV rays in tanning beds are compared to the carcinogenic dangers of smoking tobacco. Studies have shown there has been a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning. It is extremely dangerous to use such harsh lighting on your skin.

Not only do teens risk the development of skin cancer, but excessive tanning causes your skin to look tattered and aged.  Although tanning may seem like a priority now, it actually will make you look worse later by  damaging your skin beyond repair.

Tanning should be banned entirely for minors because at our young age, we teens do not always worry about the future. The consequences don’t seem that big of a deal right now. Salons, teens and their parents  should acknowledge the fact that indoor tanning come with consequences. Tanners should realize that even though tanning may make you look good, it is not worth facing the many risks.

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