Semiletava Hanna / Shutterstock.com
I’m writing a follow-up story to the research that you co-authored on the healthcare costs associated with indoor tanning. (goo.gl/9FAuYY)
I’ve read in your bio that you have an extensive background in the financial impact of healthcare. The $343 million in healthcare costs is a large number, and I have just a few questions that I hope that you can clarify.
Every day, millions of people are exposed to natural sunlight to a point of overexposure and sunburn. Children at our pools, playgrounds, lakes, oceans, parks and more can receive tremendous amounts of intentional and unintentional UV rays. With a large amount of our population receiving UV (intentional or unintentional) from natural sunlight over their lifetimes, what method did you use to distinguish between those who obtained skin cancer after only having received UV from indoor tanning vs. lifetime exposure to natural sunlight or a mix of both?
I read in the report the following quote: “Even with all the data linking indoor tanning to skin cancer, an estimated 30 million people report using indoor tanning devices at least once a year – an increase over the last 20 years.” Over the last decade, the indoor tanning industry has been on a decline in part from a nationwide economic decline and to some degree, the impact of the 10% Tan Tax on UV tanning services. How current was the data used to cite the “30 million people” statistic?
According to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER report, the majority of melanoma incidence and mortality occurs overwhelmingly, in the aging population sector. In fact, over 70% are above age 55, and predominantly male. (goo.gl/lXYjkP)
Although estimates are reported, BCC and SCC are not included in SEER skin cancer statistics. In addition, the latency for melanoma occurrence can be as long as 10, 20 or more years. With that taken into consideration, I’m interested in the demographics of those in your study who suffered from melanoma incidence and/or fatality. Skin cancer has significant risk factors; light-colored eyes, light-colored hair, number of moles on the skin, family heredity and repetitive sunburns among them. In terms of demographic information, were those in the study divided into age groups and skin types, as well as male/female groupings? If so, what were the groupings?
Dr. Waters, thank you in advance of your replies to these questions.
Senior Writer, IST Magazine
Almost since the inception of indoor tanning, those of us doing business in the industry have been beleaguered by negative press coverage of salon practices and UV exposure from tanning systems – often with myth, conjecture and spin. Periodically, IST Magazine stands up to writers of such reports as a watchdog of sorts, “calling them out” on the inaccuracies they use in their attempts to sway public opinion against moderate UV exposure obtained from sunbeds and booths.
Recently, reports appeared which stated that indoor tanning costs $343 million a year in healthcare costs. One was published by UPI.com that was particularly glaring in its fallacies. Below is the IST Magazine reply, written by Yours Truly. As is typical when we call them out, the writer had not submitted a response at press time. Nonetheless, feel free to copy and share this with your current salon guests, as well as prospective customers.
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
Copyright 2016 ist Magazine