The TRUTH Behind Tanning Beds

I recently came across an article that discussed the dispute about tanning beds and whether or not previous research conducted holds true. In this article, the dangers associated with tanning beds are being questioned, and the writer proceeded to state that there may be positives behind using these UV ray infested machines [shaking my head].

For some CRAZY crazy crazy crazy reason, there are still 2 myths about tanning beds circulating the internet and the news:

  1. Indoor tanning is safer than outdoor tanning
  2. Indoor tanning is a safe source for Vitamin D

Let’s talk Myth #1:

This one is tricky because¬†neither indoor or outdoor tanning is safe for our skin. As we know, sun damage is caused by the harmful UV rays, which are emitted by both tanning beds and from the natural sunlight. When our skin has a “glow”, that is an indication of the damage our skin has experienced from exposure to UV rays. When we expose ourselves to UV rays, our skin produces the pigment known as Melanin, which is what causes our skin to turn to a tan colour.

Yes, everyone loves to have that “tanned” look, especially while travelling to tropical climates. But why is it that people have been lead to believe that a “base tan” from an indoor tanning bed is a real thing? OR that this so called “base tan” will protect you from exposure to the UV rays from the natural sunlight?

The UV rays you are exposed to in an indoor tanning bed (UVA rays) are not the same as the UV rays you are exposed to from the natural sunlight (UVB rays), so why would using an indoor tanning bed to achieve a “base tan” help with protection from the natural sunlight?

Did you know that using an indoor tanning bed increases your chance of developing Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by almost 75%?

Which leads me into Myth #2: indoor tanning is a safe source for Vitamin D

I know that there are many of you that still choose to use tanning beds, and I know many of the tanning salons around have signage indicating that indoor tanning is a healthy source of Vitamin D, but this couldn’t be more untrue. Indoor tanning beds emit roughly 12 TIMES more harmful UVA rays than natural sunlight. The UVB rays (from the natural sunlight) are the ones that produce Vitamin D, not UVA. When you use an indoor tanning bed your skin is barely producing any Vitamin D at all, and it definitely isn’t healthy.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the amount of Vitamin D an individual requires is based on:

Just a few minutes out in the sun is all we need to achieve a healthy amount of Vitamin D. The short, casual exposure you receive while going about daily life, is enough.

Of course it is merely impossible to have zero exposure to UV rays from the natural sunlight, but it is not difficult to protect ourselves. Stop being afraid of sunscreen, and start being smart enough to protect yourself. Stay out of the tanning beds!!!!

“The healthiest of glows is our skin’s natural one” –¬†John Stoddard Cancer Center

 

Organics: Why Transition?

Organic food is great business, but a bad investment” – Bjorn Lomborg

This statement, made by a writer for USA Today, is one of the many negative statements revolving around Organic products that lacks any scientific backing. There are countless articles all over the internet putting negative information into consumers heads. With a bit more research and effort towards the subject matter, finding adequate research to support our decision to transition to organic products is not difficult. Here, I am going to discuss the many reasons why making the transition from conventional food products to organic can benefit our health, our environment, and our planet.

Biodiversity: the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.

Currently, the expansion of modern agriculture is one of the greatest current threats to the biodiversity of the Earth. Dramatic declines in both range and abundance of many species associated with farmland have been reported. This has left farmers with a growing concern for the sustainability of conventional farming practices. Birds, mammals, invertebrates and various flora are being effected. If the farmlands we are receiving our food products from are so negatively effected, why would an individual choose to consume these products?

This information alone, is enough of a reason for me to stick with my decision of consuming only organic products. The benefits of organic farming practices are clear. There is a typical increase in organism abundance of 40 to 50% across various species.

New life

Soil Health: This is such an important topic for us because without healthy soil, none of our crops would grow. Without soil, there would be nowhere to grow our food, so keeping it as a healthy as possible is essential. Soil contains food, water and air: all needed by plants to grow. Essentially, the healthier the soil, the more nutrients it contains, allowing for more nutrients to be absorbed by the plants. The healthier the plants, the healthier we are, as consumers.

Organic farmlands have a higher organic carbon content. Carbon is like the basis of fertility when it comes to soil. It releases nutrients for plant growth, promotes the structure of plants, aids in the health of the soil, and acts as a buffer against harmful substances. Additionally, organic soil reduces erosion, has a higher soil health, and a higher abundance of essential bacterial species.

Farm-worker Health: The individuals most effected by the harmful pesticides used with conventional farming are the farm-workers themselves, and their families. Most often these individuals live very close to the farmlands, leading to an increased chance of over-exposure of harmful pesticides. Pesticides drift within the air, leading to water contamination. The farm-workers are often directly in contact with the pesticides, bringing it into their homes by their clothing, exposing their children and/or pets. Additionally, pregnant women are at a very high risk of pregnancy complications due to over-exposure of pesticides.

Synthetic pesticides are banned from organic farmlands, resulting in the prevention of pesticide poisoning not only for the farm-workers, but for their families and neighbours as well. This has led to a dramatic decrease in over-exposure reported deaths and illnesses.

The discussion can go on and on forever. There are so many negatives to conventional farming, and so many positives when it comes to making the transition to organics. I hope I have given you some insight and have helped start your research towards making the transition yourself.

Looking forward to seeing some organic products on your next grocery store list!!!