Dermatologists fight new, pro-tanning bed campaign - KMSP-TV

Dermatologists fight new, pro-tanning bed campaign

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

A new campaign was released this week by the tanning industry to show that responsible sunbed tanning is just fine for you. But FairWarning.org reports dermatologists are fighting back, saying the ads are misleading the public.

This all stems from the founding of a new organization called the American Suntanning Association. Formed just a month ago, the coalition of sunbed centers is dedicating itself to increasing public awareness about the facts associated with moderate ultraviolet exposure and spray-on tanning. They also want to correct misinformation about sunlight and sunbeds.

Recently, dermatologists blasted the newly formed American Suntanning Association for disputing the medical consensus that tanning indoors increases the risk of skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest kind.

"The recent statements by the American Suntanning Association (ASA) are ridiculous and there is no data to support them," the dermatology group said in a statement. "Indoor tanning is dangerous."

The ASA's members have already mounted a huge effort to portray doctors and other health authorities as conspiring to unnecessarily scare the public about tanning. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says ultraviolet light from sunbeds causes cancer.

DeAnn Lazovich, a cancer epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, whose own research has linked sunbed use to melanoma, said the industry's long-running efforts to cast doubt on the science are just "smoke and mirrors" and an attempt to continue selling a service linked to cancer.

The industry has argued that tanning is a good source of Vitamin D. It blames dermatologists for scaring people about exposure to the sun and inducing an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in the process.

The tanning association is serious about fighting back. They hired the prominent public relations firm Global Strategy Group, which lists high-profile companies like Goldman Sachs, General Electric and the New York Yankees among its clients, to represent it.

Read the FairWarning report at http://bit.ly/TxrQ75

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