Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ban the Tan--Laura Watson

Winter blues. Prom. Acne. Health Reasons. Vacation. These are reasons many Goodhue High School students and teachers have chosen to use tanning beds throughout the year. There are good outcomes of using indoor tanning, but some of the long term results can be very harmful to one’s health. Indoor tanning has great short term results, the most common reasons people go tanning is for darker and clearer skin which many Goodhue High School students and teachers have realized. Some go tanning for other reasons; Goodhue High School teacher Mrs. LaGosh said, “I love tanning because it is so relaxing!” While senior Jess Earp stated, “I tan because it is relaxing and makes me look beautiful!”
One thing that many haven’t put into consideration though is the long-term health risks of tanning. When you tan indoors, you are shooting high doses of UV rays at your skin. These rays come in two types, UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause the skin to burn and only affect the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. The other type, UVA, is what makes the skin tan. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin which can cause damage to your nerves and blood vessels. When sending these rays into your skin you put yourself at risk for things such as wrinkly skin in the future and even skin cancer. The three types of skin cancer a person can get from tanning are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. You might think getting cancer in the skin is not very serious; you are wrong. Melanoma can be extremely deadly if not found and treated early. It is important that Goodhue High School students know what tanning puts them at risk for. Knowing the facts can influence many people like senior, Katelyn Diercks, who stated, “I don’t tan because I know of all the health risks that comes along with it. I don’t want to put myself at risk for cancer!”