Volume 93, Issue 29

Thursday, October 21, 1999


Tan-man's comments were off-colour

Premier Harris: National Man of Mystery

Tan-man's comments were off-colour

To the Editor:

As I was reading The London Free Press, I was appalled by the comments made by Steve Besterd, co-owner and operator of the University Community Centre's Cottage Tanning Company.

In the article, he talked about the tanning salon and was quoted as saying, "It's definitely a luxury item, but these kids can afford it." He goes on to say, "A lot of them grew up with rich parents in Muskoka – it is a very sophisticated clientele here. A lot of people at this school grew up with the best of everything."

I would just like to say thank you, Mr. Besterd, for perpetuating the stereotype of rich, spoiled kids at the "Western Country Club" that both administration and students have worked so hard to erase.

With regards to tanning beds in general, many tanning salons promote themselves as "safe" because they utilize UVA light sources. However, these so-called "safer" lamps emit two to three times the amount of UVA that reaches the earth outdoors.

Furthermore, UVA rays have a suspected link to malignant melanoma, (the most serious type of skin cancer) and like UVB rays, they may also be linked to damage of the immune system.

The average 15-30 minute visit to a tanning salon equates to an entire day at the beach. Other studies have shown that these tanning beds are capable of inducing skin and eye burns.

Short-term indoor tanning may produce redness, itching and dry skin whereas the consequences of long-term indoor tanning are sagging, wrinkled skin.

Consider these facts the next time you have the urge to keep that "tanned look" through the winter by visiting a tanning salon.

Norman Mah
Medicine IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1999