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Whether or not you are an advocate of climate change, there can be no denying the unprecedented summer temperatures being recorded around the globe this year. In the UK, as an example, temperatures hit over 104°F for the first time since records began. Now, this may be the norm in some parts of the U.S. but bearing in mind the average UK summer temperatures range from 59°-77°F, it is easy to see why we struggled with such a surge in heat. And, unfortunately, air-conditioning is not a feature in the vast majority of British homes and places of work.
As temperatures rose, weather forecasts were predicting risk to life and for some unfathomable reason, this resulted in weather forecasters receiving unprecedented levels of abusive emails and trolling on social media. You can perhaps imagine the intense media focus on our mini-heatwave offering readers, viewers and listeners a plethora of “top tips” on how to beat the heat by looking after yourself and staying well. To say that government-issued guidance was stating the obvious is an understatement. For example: “Drink more fluids in the heat!”
One of the main messages, of course, was to stay out of the sun. Yet, social media was awash with comments and images of people showing their burns and red skin over-exposed to the sun, unfortunately often including laughing and “success” emojis as if this were a level of achievement! A sobering reminder, if we needed one, of the abject failure of the countless expensive consumer sun safety messages and campaigns that we have all been exposed to over the years.
Yet, it is another publicly-funded sun safety campaign that has been asked for in our Parliament, along with a ban on tanning beds as the answer to decreasing melanoma incidence levels. This is not a new lobby but it is one that, regardless of the facts presented to them, continually displays a woeful ignorance and shameful definitive stance on a complex and conflicting body of scientific evidence. And, of course, it could be argued that politicians are often predisposed to pontificating on subjects in which they have little to no experience.
Our salon staff are literally communicating messages of responsible behaviour with UV light all day, every day to millions of consumers.
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary is Managing Director of the UK subsidiary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products and spray systems. He is also Chairman of the Media Committee for the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
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