Wednesday, July 29, 2009

She said what?

So apparently the chief executive of The Sunbed Association, a European trade association of tanning bed makers and operators, has issues with the WHO's recent declaration that tanning beds definitely increase the risk of cancer. The CBC reports that she released a statement which includes that "The fact that is continuously ignored is that there is no proven link between the responsible use of sunbeds and skin cancer". I looked up the rest of the statement, and it doesn't seem to make any more sense there.

I think that what they're trying to say is that the findings of the recent study in the Lancet aren't necessarily correct, because they just named two studies that contradict them. It's not, however, what they actually said. Besides, I have a hard time believing that a numerical model which says that sunbeds don't cause a high mortality rate (the first study mentioned). The other study (which I really can't find, most of the links that pop up in Google seem to be to articles which say "well, the other study said this, but we disagree") seems to have actually been experimental. I would like to find it to see how well the Sunbed Association's definition of "responsible use" of sunbeds compares to what the study measured, but I think that right now I'm going to have to say that it's, at best, a 1-1 tie. And have a little faith in the scientific community being better able to weigh the evidence than I am, rather than in an industry that already exists mostly for questionable reasons.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I realized today that I am responsible for the lousy summer weather recently. I've taken the sunscreen out of my schoolbag, so a good week of high UV indices should be on our way. :P