ASA Responds to Surgeon General's Call to Action Regarding UV Exposure
WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014
WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The American Suntanning Association (ASA) – the nation's largest association of professional suntanning facilities – today issued the following statement about the U.S. Acting Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer:
The ASA is committed to promoting responsible UV exposure, both indoor and outdoor, for the millions of Americans who enjoy tanning every year. The Acting Surgeon General is trivializing an important subject by overstating the role of sunbeds in a cancer that is increasing fastest in older men who do not frequent sunbed salons.
To put the risk of UV exposure in perspective, the World Health Organization says those who use sunbeds increase their risk of melanoma 15 percent, while smokers increase their risk of lung cancer 2,500 percent. (US Surgeon General Report on Tobacco, 2014).
"I believe the report overstates the risk of sunshine and sunbeds while completely ignoring the benefits of sensible UV exposure," says Barton D. Bonn, president of the American Suntanning Association.
The report notes that UV exposure can stimulate production of vitamin D in the skin, a vitamin that is important for bone health and other health outcomes. In fact, research suggests that vitamin D may also help prevent numerous chronic diseases, including autoimmune conditions, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, preterm birth, certain types of cancer, and even all-cause mortality.
Finally, the report calls for more information and research on the epidemiology and risk factors for skin cancer and the risks of different levels of UV exposure. The ASA agrees more research is needed before the government takes additional steps to regulate the industry.