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The Ministry of Health and the Cancer Society warn the public against using tanning beds

The public warning is published these days because during the winter season many tanning salons in Israel advertise themselves and offer the public "safe tanning" or "safe tanning"


Prof. Avi Israeli, CEO of the Ministry of Health and Miri Ziv, CEO of the Cancer Society, warn the public against using tanning beds, which is just as dangerous as exposure to sunlight. The tanning devices emit radiation on a wavelength that causes cumulative, long-term health damage. Excessive exposure to these rays causes damage to the eyes or vision, rashes, premature wrinkling of the skin, multiple spots on the skin, precancerous lesions and a real risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. The public warning is published these days because during the winter season many tanning salons in Israel advertise themselves and offer the public "safe tanning" or "safe tanning".

Prof. Avi Israel, Director General of the Ministry of Health: "The consultation that the ministry had with experts in the field and according to the medical literature, there is proof that ultraviolet radiation in the field causes a lot of damage to the skin. We considered finding ways to enforce the issue or to provide a standard, however, the Ministry of Health's approval of a standard for tanning salons means legitimizing the use of technology that the Ministry does not recommend, and such approval may increase the use of tanning devices. We are currently considering whether to enshrine in legislation, a duty to warn users, in which we will require the owners of the establishments that operate tanning beds to warn the users with signs about the inherent danger of using a tanning bed."

Miri Ziv, CEO of the Association to Fight Cancer: "Using tanning beds is as dangerous as exposure to sunlight and sometimes even more so. Tanning beds emit ultraviolet radiation that causes cumulative health damage in the long run. Excessive exposure to this radiation in childhood can cause melanoma in adulthood. In the short term, the radiation may cause damage to the eyes or vision, rashes, early wrinkling of the skin, multiple spots on the skin and precancerous lesions. We emphasize that there is no "safe tanning", no "safe tanning" and no "healthy tanning". Exposure to radiation from a tanning bed is like exposure to the sun, dangerous and can cause irreversible damage."

Background on studies and laws around the world
 Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of the state of California in the United States, approved a new law in August 2005 that prohibits minors under the age of 18 from using the services of tanning salons in the state. The California Dermatology Association and the Association of Dermatologic Surgeons, which helped promote the law, accuse tanning salons of being responsible for part of the million new skin cancer cases that are discovered every year in the US.

 The World Health Organization recently recommended not allowing young people under the age of 18 to use tanning beds. The organization warns of an increase in skin cancer cases due to the increasing use of tanning beds and recommends that the use of lamps and tanning beds be completely prohibited for minors under the age of 18, while adults be warned before use of the possible dangers, and tanning itself be done under supervision.

 In November 2004, representatives of cancer associations from all over the world, including the Cancer Association, gathered in Dublin, Ireland, for a special conference on cancer organized by the International Cancer Organization (UICC). In this conference, the phenomenon of using tanning beds all over the world through tanning salons or home tanning beds is discussed in particular. At the conference, it was decided that advocacy, legislation and supervision should be combined in order to deal with the phenomenon and inform the public about the dangers of tanning beds.

 In December 2004, the Australian Cancer Council published a paper containing a statement by Prof. David Hill, chairman of the National Research Committee on Sun Damage. The position paper states that tanning beds can emit UV radiation five times stronger than the sun's radiation in the middle of the day. The Australian Cancer Council works in this area to raise awareness of the harms of tanning beds and to increase restrictions through legislation, especially on the issue of limiting access to tanning beds to minors under the age of 18. Other countries in Europe are also promoting legislation to restrict the use of tanning beds among young people.

 In a study published in 2003 in the British Journal of Dermatology, it was found that in Great Britain, about 6% of deaths caused by melanoma occurred following the use of tanning beds. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (which is also emitted from tanning devices) at any age, and especially at a young age (16-30 is the age at which many girls use tanning devices) may be the cause of melanoma developing in the future.

 From another study conducted in the United States and published in 2002 on the NRPB (National Radiological Protection Board) website, it appears that people who have used artificial tanning devices will develop different types of skin cancer with a higher probability than those who have never visited tanning salons. Young women are at higher risk, where the chance of developing a malignant tumor increases by 20% for every ten years of using tanning beds, before the age of 56. The study involves 1500 people between the ages of 25 and 74 living in the USA. The results of the study showed that people who reported using tanning beds had a 2.5 times higher risk of developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma than those who never used the device, and a 1.5 times higher risk of developing Basal Cell Carcinoma than people who never used tanning beds.

 Skin cancer foundation journal 2005 published an article on the extent of the health impact of tanning salons. The article presents a comparison between the characteristics of the artificial tanning industry and the tobacco industry (marketing efforts towards teenagers).
 An article published in Cancer causes control in January 2005 about the fact that tanning salons mislead the public about the dangers (the majority only emphasize the danger of burning from excessive tanning, only about 40% mention the issue of skin cancer and a similar percentage mention the issue of skin aging).
 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology from December 2005: about 30 million people in the US use tanning beds, of which about 2.3 million are teenagers. The study reviewed and established three things: a. The radiation they are exposed to in tanning salons increases the risk of skin cancer b. Contrary to what the tanning salons advertise, artificial UV radiation is not safe and is not necessary to increase the level of vitamin D. c. Although the health bodies and the World Health Organization recognize the dangers, the regulation of the field is lacking.

 Pediatric Dermatology from November 2005 published that skin cancer is the fastest growing cause of death in the US today, and there is epidemiological evidence proving the link between tanning in tanning salons and melanoma.

 European Journal of Cancer from January 2005: Girls use tanning salons much more frequently than boys, and the frequency increases with age. The frequency is also higher among young people who perceive tanning as a good and positive thing, as well as young people whose parents have used tanning beds themselves. It was also found that the marketing efforts are directed mainly towards teenagers, and that there are organizations and lobbies on behalf of the tanning salons to prevent the imposition of supervision and regulation that would limit use by teens and young adults.

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