Are tanning beds safe? A question that has brought up much debate over the years and there is still little consensus on the issue. To be on the safe side make sure that you have taken out tanning salon insurance if you are the owner. There are varied arguments for both sides of the divide with some supporting the safety of tanning beds and others disputing it. Let us consider five aspects that are key to the safety issue of using tanning beds.
- Amount of UV radiation
Unlike the sun’s UV radiation, you can control the radiation from a tanning bed. However, that does not actually make it safer. In retrospect, the close proximity of the radiation to your skin actually increases the risk of contracting UV-related skin diseases. Though the radiation from the sun can be harmful, it has to be in large doses and for prolonged periods of time, but the exposure distance and time could limit the harm done as compared to tanning beds.
- Intensity of UV radiation
Owing to the amount of radiation and time spent in a tanning bed to get a cosmetic tan, the intensity of the radiation is actually more harmful than that of the sun. The intensity of the sun’s radiation can be reduced using sunscreen, which provides much-needed protection. For a cosmetic tan, however, even if sunscreen is used, the radiation’s intensity is still more than the skin can handle safely.
- Direct skin contact
With the sun’s radiation, a significant amount of atmosphere and ozone protects you from direct radiation exposure, even though some radiation will reach you. In a tanning bed, on the other hand, you are exposed directly to the full intensity and amount of radiation which could be very harmful.
- Health risks
We all agree that UV radiation, whether from the sun or a tanning bed poses some risks to our health. Usually, the main determinants of such illnesses are the intensity and amounts of UV radiation. That said, you have an increased risk of cancer, fast aging and wrinkling and other skin conditions (psoriasis, melanomas, etc) from using a tanning bed.
Sunlight is the perfect mixture of UVB (sun burning rays) and UVA rays (contains vitamin D), however, on the hand tanning beds only emit UVB rays that definitely increase the risk of skin cancers without any significant benefit.
- Other safety concerns
All systems in machinery are prone to malfunction and a tanning bed is no different. There are other pressing safety concerns that increase the risk of harm and illness. For instance, a small defect, negligible human error, faulty control or poor regulation of the radiation could result in a serious burn.
Is it worth the expense? Knowing that you can are at a greater risk from using a tanning bed, you have to consider whether it is really worth the expense. Safety of tanning beds is still questionable and is not really worth the risk or expense. You could get a good tan from just basking out in the sun, with protective sunscreen of course.