Environmental and Occupational Health Assessment
Sun Exposure and Sunscreen
When outside in the sunlight, always use a
sunscreen to protect your skin. For more information on sunscreens and
the associated risks of exposure to sunlight:
occurs when the skin produces additional pigment (coloring) to protect itself
from the burning effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are two types of UV
rays emitted from both the sun and from indoor tanning equipment. They are
called UVA and UVB. Both types penetrate the skin, causing damage.
Overexposure to these rays can cause eye injury, premature wrinkling of the
skin, light-induced skin rashes, weaken your immune system, and can increase
your chances of developing skin cancer. The World Health Organization and other
U.S. and international agencies have declared ultraviolet (UV) radiation from
the sun and from artificial sources such as tanning beds and sun lamps to be a known
carcinogen (cancer-causing substance).
tanning equipment, which includes all artificial light sources including beds,
lamps, bulbs, booths, etc., emits UVA and UVB radiation. This equipment may
expose the client to a higher dose of harmful UV rays in a shorter time period
than natural exposure to the sun. According to the American Academy of
Dermatology, studies have found that the risk of melanoma increases by 59% in
people exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with
each use. Even people who do not burn after indoor tanning or sun exposure are
at an increased risk of melanoma if they tan indoors. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) states, “the risk of melanoma of the skin increases by 75
percent when tanning bed use started before age 35.”
to UV rays puts everyone at risk. It is especially important for
adolescents to be aware of these risks, since they may be at greater risk for
damage and disease associated with overexposure to UV radiation. Connecticut
law prohibits the use of an indoor tanning device by anyone under seventeen
years of age. Operators who do not comply with the law (Connecticut
state statute sect. 19a-
232) may be fined $100 per incident.
tanning increases your risk of developing skin cancer. If you decide to use
indoor tanning equipment, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk.
- Always use fitted goggles to protect your eyes.
- Use short exposure times when you start.
- Do not use the highest (most intense) settings when you start.
- If you already have a tan, do not use indoor tanning equipment more than once per week
your medical history – check with your healthcare provider before using indoor
Content Last Modified on 8/4/2015 8:05:13 AM