Sure, they look cool and futuristic, but here’s a startling fact: Tanning beds are categorised as a grade one carcinogen by the International Agency for Research in Cancer. Arguing that Australia has enough skin cancer problems as it is, New South Wales is the first state in Australia to ban tanning beds from December 31st, 2014.
Photo: Donald Miralle / Getty Images
The Australian Cancer Council says that those who first used a tanning bed before turning 35 have doubled their risk of developing melanoma. That’s why the Greens want the ban to be immediate – not three years away. Still, the Cancer Council has welcomed the ban as it’s been outlined, while NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker says the time is needed to give tanning businesses a chance to “diversify”. Seems to me that if they realise it needs doing, they should just do it now and save lives. Then again, it’s not like cigarettes are being truely “phased out”. But that’s a whole other story.
Have you ever used a tanning bed? I did once – years ago – and it definitely wasn’t for me. I felt like a piece of meat slipping around on a glass cooking surface. Apparently that wasn’t far from the truth.