Tanning Industry Responds
Last September, International Tanning Association (ITA) Executive Director John Overstreet told WebMD that a report by leading researchers in the fields of melanoma research, dermatology, and cell biology calling for greater regulation of indoor tanning included “irresponsible assertions without providing any concrete link between indoor tanning and melanoma.”
In the spring of 2008, the ITA launched a nationwide campaign questioning this link.
In a news release issued at the time, ITA spokeswoman Sarah Longwell said, “Both the sun and tanning beds have been unnecessarily demonized by special interests using junk science and scare tactics.”
But in a news release issued today, ITA President Dan Humiston acknowledged that UV exposure from tanning beds is not discernibly different from UV exposure from the sun.
“The fact that the IARC has put tanning bed use in the same category as sunlight is hardly newsworthy,” he noted. “The UV light from a tanning bed is equivalent to UV light from the sun, which has had a (carcinogenic) classification since 1992. Some other items in this category are red wine, beer, and salted fish. The ITA has always emphasized the importance of moderation when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed.”