By Sara Sultanik / Good Medicine
SYRACUSE N.Y. -- With the cold weather and lack of sun light in the winter months here in Central New York, you may like heading to the tanning bed.
But a new bipartisan bill, the Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act could, if passed, change the way many people tan. The bill would allow the government to set controls on the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the beds as well as set limits on the amount of time tanners can stay inside the machines.
All of this to reduce to risks of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
A Triathlete’s Tale
Kelly Covert of Baldwinsville was only twenty-four when she was diagnosed with skin cancer and she stated she headed to the tanning beds a few times before she was diagnosed, “I dont think it was the only reason that i got skin cancer but it certainly did not help me at all and I would never do it again.”
Kelly is now an advocate for preventing young people from using tanning beds. She does not want people to end up in the same position she was in. She said, “You know the risks and they still do it which is shocking to me but i just people are going to make their own decisions but as long as they know what they’re up against...then that’s the choice that they have to make.”
Aren’t There Any Health Benefits to Tanning?
According to dermatologist Dr. Joyce Farah, this is not the case, “There are absolutely no health benefits to being in a tanning booth,” she said, “none that have been documented whatsoever.”
Dr. Farah claimed that even in cloudy cities such as Syracuse, 80 percent of the sun’s radiation still shines through so Central New Yorkers should still be getting a good amount of Vitamin D, even in the winter months.
But Isn’t Every Salon Different?
According to Joe Contini, owner of Hakuna Matata salon in Syracuse, his salon is different than most because his employees are certified under the International Smart Tan Network.
Contini said, “We need to put a little restrictions on tanning salons...people should be certified”
Contini claimed his salon will not allow individuals who are too fair skinned to tan at his salon.
But Dominick Barbano of Garbo’s Salon in Syracuse said it is ultimately the tanner’s decision, “Act responsibly, do it in moderation, you’ll be fine.”
It is unknown at the time if the Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act will be put into place. But experts have said, even if less radiation is emitted by these machines, tanners may come into the tanning salons more often to get the same skin tone.