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Good old philosopher Rene Descartes proudly declared, “I think, therefore I am” and establishes solid ground for one’s own existence. This is great because every now and then, I have my doubts. While I’m on the subject of doubts, behold another prognostication claiming that indoor tanning is tied to an increase of primary melanoma skin cancers. Last month’s study was the impetus for an article in last month’s online Medical Dialogues:
NOTE: The topic of melanoma and skin cancer is not avoided, but covered directly in our Sun is Life® Salon Operator Training & Certification course.
The following factors may raise a person’s risk of developing melanoma
Clearly, if one:
… there is an increased risk of developing melanoma.
However, armed with their study, this group tries to correlate ten (that’s right, just ten) indoor tanning sessions with increased melanoma risk. I perused the study and found that there is nothing stated regarding just exactly what “ten” they’re talking about. Could it be the ten three-minute exposures received over a period of ten years in a tanning system equipped with lamps that have been used past the manufacturer’s estimated useful life? Well, we’ll never know because of course, that’s not stated. Did the study include the subjects’ estimated lifetime exposure to natural sunlight? I could not find it. Consider someone who grew up and played in the warm waters of Miami Beach and then spent several years lifeguarding to pay for college at the University of Miami and then used a sunbed once a month from January to October for a total of ten lifetime indoor sessions?
I revert back to Latin and shout “Reductio ad absurdum,” which is one of the basic tenets of sales that I learned many moons ago. “Reduce to the ridiculous” – characterizing an opposing argument in such a way that it seems to be ridiculous. I certainly trust that I led you to the same conclusion that I reached. It reminds me that if something gets repeated sufficiently and repeatedly, it will become the truth. This clearly is the case with those entrenched in pointing the finger at indoor tanning as the culprit when it comes to skin cancer. Hey, too much of anything (well, okay – most things) can be bad for us. For most things we do in life, moderation is key. Our Sun is Life Certification also covers the principle of tanning in moderation, whether it’s indoors or in natural sunlight.
I close with a final proclamation in Latin: “Vita sana vivere!” (Live a healthy life!)
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.
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