On February 4 is World Cancer Day. German Cancer Aid and Dermatological Prevention Association demand: Sunbed Ban

February 03, 2020 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Germany, Berlin / February 03, 2020. German Cancer Aid and the Dermatological Prevention Association expressed their call for sunbeds to be banned in Germany in the form of a spectacular art exhibition called "Spectrum. The most dangerous artwork." in Berlin. The hazardous work of art, consisting of 65 of the standard UV lighting tubes you would expect to see in a sunbed, brought the very real yet often underestimated risk of melanoma posed by UV radiation to life. Visitors to this artistic masterpiece by the duo known as the "Low Bros" had to get changed into hazmat suits for their allocated slot of no more than five minutes. At some points in the dark hall, the radiation could be compared to the equatorial sun's direct rays at midday on a clear day.

On February 4 is the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day: "We are calling for a nationwide ban on sunbeds in Germany. Despite the fact that they have been known to cause cancer for some time now, the ban on minors using them has not been enforced very effectively at all," explains Gerd Nettekoven, Chairman of German Cancer Aid. This ban has been in place since 2009 and yet estimates suggest that some 140,000 minors were allowed to use sunbeds in 2018 alone. And this trend shows no sign of slowing down according to figures from National Cancer Aid Monitoring (NCAM). Professor Eckhard Breitbart, Dermatologist and Chairman of the Dermatological Prevention Association adds: "It's a crazy misconception that tanned skin is still seen as being healthy and beautiful. The tanning process is actually the skin crying for help. Every single trip to the sunbed has harmful effects."

- Some 140,000 minors were given access to sunbeds in 2018 despite being banned from using them
- Sunbeds cause around 3,400 cases of malignant melanoma, an extremely dangerous type of cancer across Europe every year
- "Spectrum. The most dangerous artwork." draws attention to the dangers of UV radiation

Artificial UV Radiation Increases Risk of Skin Cancer

According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 3,400 people across Europe suffer from malignant melanoma every year as a result of using sunbeds. This condition is a dangerous type of skin cancer that results in death in around 800 of those cases. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the WHO, classifies UV radiation – in its natural form from the sun and in its artificial form in sunbeds – in the highest group of carcinogenic hazards to humans. On this basis, the WHO and other scientific bodies strongly recommend that sunbeds are avoided at all costs. It is important to realize that UV radiation damages the genetic material within our skin cells within a matter of seconds while delivering that coveted sun-kissed look. Cells with genetic material damaged in this way can develop into skin cancer even decades down the line. Tanning is just the skin's reaction as it tries to protect itself. It is never a sign of good health. Our skin is even more sensitive to UV radiation when we are children and teenagers, meaning that young people are at far greater risk of developing skin cancer than adults.

UV Radiation Can Never Be Healthy

„Despite certain defined legal requirements is the use of sunbeds never harmless.
According to the IARC, a threshold for hazard-free artificial UV radiation doesn't exist, which is why it is safe to say that the disuse of solarium is in accordance with one's wellbeing," explains Gerd Nettekoven from German Cancer Aid to justify their call for a blanket ban. "And since the ban on minors using sunbeds has not been enforced properly, we are now calling for a full ban on all sunbeds as a way of protecting the population," says Professor Eckhard Breitbart from the Dermatological Prevention Association. The spectacular installation called "Spectrum" at Berlin's Reinbeckhallen exhibition center depicted the health risks of sunbeds and drew attention to the sunbed problem plaguing our society. "In our eyes, a tanning studio is almost like a place of worship that people return to again and again for a recurring ritual. In our exhibition "Spectrum", we took the element of sun worship and focused all our attention on the object at the heart of the ritual: a sun made of real UV lighting tubes posing a very real threat," explain the artists behind the installation.

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