The news is filled with claims of the dangers of ultraviolet radiation and tanning.
JunkScience.com has put together a list of 10 commonly parroted myths to provide some balance to all the unbridled fearmongering.
Why have these myths been perpetuated? Who is behind them?
Sunscreen industry. As market research firm IBISWorld observes:
The increasingly essential nature of sunscreen has been a boon for the Sunscreen Manufacturing industry… Consumers’ growing spending power will allow shoppers to buy more and higher-priced sun protection products, increasing downstream demand from retailers.
The myths that underlie the “essential nature of sunscreen” have helped build the suncreen manufacturers into a $1.3 billion industry.
Dermatologists. Phototherapy is a UV-B treatment prescribed by dermatologists for skin conditions like psoriasis.
According to a June 2013 study in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment,
Use of phototherapy in the United States declined during the 1990s, largely due to unfavorable economic incentives.
A major “unfavorable economic incentive” has been the development of commercial indoor tanning salons that can deliver phototherapy-like UVB radiation, but for a fraction of the price.
Not all dermatologists espouse anti-tanning propaganda and sunscreen is useful for preventing sunburn.
That said, when you hear extreme statements about tanning keep in mind the myth-busting presented above and consider the source of the statement. You may discover that someone is using junk science to adversely impact your health and quality of life.