Tanning beds are stupid and dangerous
In spite of the incredible warm winter weather, many of us ache for the summer sun which is still a few months off. The sun and its light play a vital role in our overall health and mental well being. Our bodies and our minds are tuned to its light and warmth.
That having been said, the phenomenon of tanning in tanning beds is one that absolutely mystifies me. Let’s start with sunlight. It’s composed of a wide spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Some of comes in as visible light, but some also comes in as ultraviolet, infrared, x-radiation and long waves like radio. Its the short waves that pack the punch, the stuff that comes in on the Ultraviolet (UV) side.
These UV rays are not something you want to mess with. They are high-energy and they have the potential to smash just about anything they run in to. Now our atmosphere, specifically the ozone layer some 40 to 100 kilometres above our heads, plays a vital role in our health and safety as it relates to sunlight. The three atoms of oxygen configured into ozone, happens to be poisonous when breathed, so that is why we don’t like to find it at ground level, but high above our heads its another story. That is why we got our collective nickers in a knot some decades ago with CFCs which happened to eating up the ozone layer.
We need the ozone layer and here is why. The ozone layer stops UV radiation cold, without the detrimental effect of being poisonous to breathe, because it is so high up. Now some of it always gets through, but so little, that life can get along pretty much fine, even in the blazing tropics where the sun can be ferocious.What little UV gets through to illuminate people has been genetically taken care of by their skins. People who originate in the tropics have adapted, by creating melanin, which makes their skins dark. It also provides them with protection against UV radiation. People who live in the colder parts of the world have lost much of their melanin and their skins are light as a result. But when whitey goes south or gets too much sun in the summer, his/her skin ether turns red or gets browner. Red hurts, brown does not, but both are indicative of damage and the skin’s way of saying…STOP!!!
Research now tells us (those pesky scientists again, aye?) UV radiation and white skin do not mix well. So what is the latest ongoing myth and trend? Getting into UV radiation booths to “prepare” for the sun! That’s like smashing your head against the wall to “prepare” for a concussion in the next hockey game!
It is a cumulative thing. In a tanning booth you don’t even have a failing ozone layer to protect you. Exposing yourself to UV whether it comes from the sun or a tanning booth, if you have light skin, is not a good idea and you will pay for it and never be able to turn back the clock.There is no such thing as good UV, no matter what the brochure says. If your skin turns colour it is saying “ouch” and you should listen. Why up the chances of skin cancer, basal cancer, melanoma and premature skin aging?
Remember the adage about “Mad Dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun”?
Think sunblock or cover up! End of diatribe!
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