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Skin cancer researchers oppose industry campaign to portray tanning beds as healthy

Staff Report • Sep 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Health experts are fighting back against an aggressive campaign by the tanning industry to portray sunbathing and the use of indoor tanning beds as not only safe, but good for you.

According to WebMD, in a series of papers published today, leading researchers in the fields of melanoma research, dermatology, and cell biology call for greater regulation of the indoor tanning industry.

Arguing that there may be no such thing as a safe tan, Society of Melanoma Research President David E. Fisher, MD, PhD, and colleagues accuse the industry of trying to confuse the public about the health benefits of tanning.

\\\"This effort to portray tanning and tanning beds as good for health ignores the fact that exposure to ultraviolet radiation represents one of the most avoidable causes of cancer,\\\" Fisher tells WebMD. \\\"There is no question that this exposure causes thousands of skin cancer deaths a year.\\\"

Last spring, the Indoor Tanning Association launched its nationwide campaign with a full-page ad in the New York Times questioning the link between sun exposure and the deadly skin cancer melanoma -- and claiming that tanning promotes good health by boosting vitamin D levels. 

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