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The Pros and Cons of Using Tanning Beds

Aug 17, 2007
Tanning beds, also known as sunbeds, are devices that emit ultraviolet radiation to induce an artificial tan. This indoor tanning equipment was brought to North America in 1978 by the German scientists Friedrich Wolff. Since then, sunbeds have become some of the best selling cosmetic devices in the world with an estimated annual market worth of $2 billion in the United States alone.

Tanning beds work by inducing the skin to produce additional coloring or melanin to protect itself from ultraviolet rays which then leads to a darker shade. The products being offered today provide mixed UVB and UVA rays which simulate the light emitted by the sun. There are models designed for home use and there are also those that are manufactured for commercial or salon use. Makers of sunbeds have produced different sizes to accommodate consumers who might be taller or bigger than the average. Some of the better known suppliers of sunbeds include the Tanning Bed Superstore, Hollywood Gadgets, Master Tanning Inc., Specialty Pool Products, Nova Cos., A1 Tanning Supply and Mercantila. Prices of sunbeds vary between $2,000 and $5,000.

The popularity of sunbeds has spawned a debate between the industry and several medical societies. According to some medical groups, the use of these beds can cause skin diseases such as squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. Skin wrinkles and sunburns are also believed to be side effects of suntan beds. Despite the warnings from these societies, consumers continue to patronize tanning salons or use sunbeds in their homes. Surveys have shown that teenage girls account for the biggest percentage of users of these beds particularly in Western countries.

In the United States, the UV output of suntan beds is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration so that users, particularly those who get their artificial tan from salons, get only a limited amount of UV rays per session. The government, though, has refused to uphold some medical associations' call for a ban on the use and sale of sunbeds. Instead, authorities prohibited the sunbed industry from selling the products for any purpose other than cosmetic. This rule effectively prevents consumers from filing health claims should any of the suspected negative effects of sunbeds does occur.

The market for tanning beds continues to flourish despite the ongoing debate concerning their side effects. Manufacturers such as Solar Storm, Del Sol, NovaSolar, Wolff System and ProSun are offering various models and different sizes and consumers continue to shell out money for these devices to acquire the color that some of them believe is the perfect skin shade.
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Suntan-bed.com provides you with information on how to determine what the best Tanning beds are and where you can get your tanning bed supplies.
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