Press Release                    



The Scientific Advisory Board of the Dutch Health Council Backs Moderate Sunbed Use


Veldhoven, 11th December 2009 (SRF) – According to a statement by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Dutch Health Council, there is nothing wrong with tanning outdoors or in the long as it’s in moderation. As the scientific panel continues in its letter to the Dutch Health Council which deals with health and consumer protection, on no account can it be guaranteed that the use of solariums is accompanied by a higher risk of skin cancer. Furthermore, the Health Council expresses major reservations concerning the decision recently taken by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to raise the category of UV-radiation and solariums to cancer risk category one. The supporting scientific documents provide no basis for this. In the statement the scientists belonging to the high-ranking panel also explain the positive effects of sufficiently supplying the human body with vitamin D, which, stimulated by UV radiation, is produced over 90 percent in the skin.

“It is a very positive sign that a renowned institution such as the Dutch Health Council exclusively sticks to objective, provable criteria when evaluating tanning and draws well balanced conclusions from this“, comments Ad Brand from the Sunlight Research Forum (SRF) with regards to the statement by the Scientific Advisory Board.   


The Dutch Health Council is the Netherland’s most important scientific panel in the domain of health. Its studies, statements, and recommendations often form the basis for legislative proposals.


The Sunlight Research Forum (SRF) is a non-profit organisation with its headquarters in the Netherlands. Its aim is to make the latest medical and scientific findings concerning the effects of moderate UV radiation on humans open to the general public.



·         The Dutch Health Council’s statement: “Advisory letter UV radiation and sunbeds” can be downloaded from the SRF website

·         Further information about the Dutch Health Council is available at


Media Contact:

Ad Brand

Sunlight Research Forum (SRF)
Tel.:   +31 (0)651 358 180  


* Source: International Smart Tan Network, Michigan USA.

The Truth About Indoor Tanning


Any sun exposure causes skin cancer.

Ultraviolet light has been linked to certain types of skin cancer, but no one understands exactly how. And ultraviolet light plays an important role in the development of all life. Heredity, diet and repeated sunburn are the biggest risk factors for non-melanoma skin cancer. Consider that one 1995 study reported that people who followed a low-fat diet had 90% fewer skin cancers. It's clear that sun exposure is not the only factor in this disease.

There is no such thing as a safe tan.

Actually it isn't safe to totally avoid the sun. Remember, sunlight is the source of all life on our planet. Plus, research suggests the benefits of regular, moderate sun exposure may outweigh the risks of overexposure, which easily can be minimised by merely avoiding sunburn. Moderate indoor tanning, for individuals who can develop a tan, is the smartest way to maximise the potential benefits and minimise the potential risks associated with either too much or too little sunlight.

But some doctors say that tanning causes melanoma...

This rare form of skin cancer is still a mystery. It is most common in fair-skinned people with a family history of melanoma. Though some research suggests a connection to ultraviolet light, many studies have shown that people who receive regular sun exposure have less chance of getting melanoma than those who don't. Also, it is most commonly found on unexposed areas of the body like the lower trunk and legs.

There is an epidemic of skin cancer in the world today.

No, there isn't. Epidemics are events that happen suddenly and affect more than half of a group of people. Skin cancer rates have been rising steadily in the world since the early 1900s.

Skin cancer rates are rising because more people tan today than did in years past.

Actually, skin cancer rates have risen steadily in the 1900s. And society spent less time outdoors last century than in any other. Remember, most people worked outdoors until the industrial revolution in the late 1800s. It could be said that since people do not receive as much regular sun exposure, which makes them more susceptible to sunburn when they go outdoors, may be linked to the increase in skin cancer this century.

People catch AIDS or herpes from tanning beds.

The HIV virus dies on exposure to oxygen, and would not survive on a sanitized tanning bed. (Solar Scape only uses an all in one Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial & Anti-Fungal sanitizer.) What's more, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control says the odds of contracting any virus from a tanning bed are "extremely remote".

Indoor tanning is riskier than outdoor tanning.

That's absolutely false. Indoor tanning clients are exposed to a scientifically controlled dosage of ultraviolet light carefully formulated to tan you and minimise your risk of sunburn. That kind of control is virtually impossible outdoors, where variables such as seasonality, time of day, geography, weather conditions, altitude and the Earth's thinning ozone layer make sunburn much more likely. Because sunburn is the main risk factor for skin damage, it's actually smarter to tan indoors.

I heard about a woman who fried her internal organs from too much tanning...

'The Legend of the Roasted Tanner" is a farce. Ultraviolet light, whether from the sun or from a tanning unit does not penetrate your skin. It is impossible to "fry" any internal organs on a tanning bed.

I heard that tanning isn't as popular as it used to be.

Not true. More than 30 million Americans tan indoors, a number that increases steadily year after year. More and more people are tanning for the control, convenience, benefits, speed and pure enjoyment of tanning on a sunbed.

Indoor tanning is like a cigarette for your skin.

This is a ludicrous comparison. Smoking subjects your lungs to an unnatural compound that your body is not designed to process. Tanning is your body's natural reaction to sunlight. Your body is designed to tan to help prevent sunburn. Your body is not designed to process cigarette smoke. Furthermore a smoker's risk of contracting lung cancer is hundreds of times higher than a non-smoker's risk. That's not the case with those of us who tan. Most importantly, there are no known benefits with cigarette smoking. Research suggests that there may be many benefits with regular sun exposure.

If all this is true, why do I still hear that tanning is bad for you?

Anyone who makes the blanket statement that any tanning is bad for you probably has not read much on this issue. And you have to remember that many industries make billions of dollars scaring people about sunshine. Multibillion dollar pharmaceutical firms that manufacture sun-screen lotion fund the studies and promote the findings, often out of context.
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Press Release 

European Sunlight Association Fights Back Hype over Tanning Beds

Brussels, 30 July 2009 (ESA) — The European Sunlight Association (ESA) condemns the hype related to the recent categorization of tanning beds as a “Group 1” carcinogen.

“The European Sunlight Association will not stand by and allow to unfairly malign our products and the thousands of small business owners who are our members, by grossly exaggerating the risks associated with tanning beds,” said ESA’s chairwoman, Christina Lorenz.

“Because tanning beds produce the same UV light as the sun, OVEREXPOSURE and abuse of our products - just like OVEREXPOSURE to sunlight - is associated with an increased risk for some types of skin cancer. Other items in this category are red wine and salted fish. Scientific studies suggest that drinking red wine or other alcoholic beverages carries a greater cancer risk than tanning.  It is completely irresponsible to compare indoor tanning with mustard gas or arsenic as so many media reports have done”, stated Lorenz and continued: “Media reports comparing indoor tanning to toxins like mustard gas, cigarettes, and arsenic are outra­geously overhyped. The same “group 1” category includes red wine, salted fish, and regular sunlight. These sensational headlines are as absurd as saying ‘A glass of merlot is as deadly as mustard gas’. UV light from a tanning bed is the same as UV light from the sunshine, which has had the “group 1” classification since 1992. So it’s no surprise that tanning beds have now been put in this catego­ry as it has long been understood that OVEREXPOSURE to UV light, whether from the sunshine or a tanning bed, is associated with increased risk of some forms of cancer. This is why the European Sunlight Association has always emphasized the importance of moderation.

The European Sunlight Association (ESA) represents thousands of indoor tanning manufacturers, distributors, facility owners and members from other support industries throughout Europe. ESA promotes a responsible message about moderate tanning and sunburn prevention.

Media Contact

Frank Harbusch

Secretary General

European Sunlight Association a.s.b.l. (ESA)
51, Chaussée de Charleroi
1471 Loupoigne 

Tel:       +32-67-670114
Fax:      +32-67-648048



IARC Report Declaring UV "Carcinogenic to Humans" ignored conflicting information

JACKSON, Mich. (July 29) - The International Agency for Research on Cancer ignored conflicting information in its classification of ultraviolet light as 'carcinogenic to humans' - a one-dimensional conclusion that benefits the $35 billion sunscreen industry, which has strong financial ties to most of the dermatology community today, and forgets the fact that humans need UV light to live.

"If a pharmaceutical company sold you sunshine, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now," International Smart Tan Network Vice President Joseph Levy said. "Instead, we are dealing with a report that now has the press comparing Mother Nature's most important creation - sunlight - to arsenic and mustard gas. It's ludicrous."

"Saying that UV exposure is harmful and should be avoided is as wrong as saying that water causes drowning, and therefore we should avoid water."

No data has ever been presented suggesting that UV exposure in a non-burning fashion is a significant risk factor for any skin damage, nor has a mechanism been established whereby UV causes melanoma, which is more common in indoor workers than in outdoor workers and which occurs most commonly on parts of the body that don't get regular UV exposure.

IARC cited its own report alleging "risk of skin melanoma is increased by 75 per cent when people started using tanning beds before age 30." Ignored in this statement is confounding information pointing out that:

•    IARC's analysis was flawed. When the palest individuals who cannot tan (called Skin Type I - people who are not allowed to tan in North American tanning facilities) were removed from the IARC data set, there was no increase in risk for the group being studied.

•    In fact, 18 of 22 studies on this topic show no statistically significant relationship between indoor tanning and melanoma - including the largest and most recent study.

"Ignoring conflicting information in the publication of a report and elevating your conclusion without bringing confounding information to light constitutes academic fraud," Levy said. "This report presents no new data, ignores confounding information and attempts to reach a new conclusion with no new information. While it remains prudent for individuals to avoid sunburn, it should be noted that there is NO RESEARCH suggesting that non-burning UV exposure is a significant risk factor for humans. None."

Levy continued, "Further, it is clearer now more than ever that humans NEED regular UV exposure as the only true natural way to make vitamin D. It is called 'The Sunshine Vitamin' for a reason: You produce more vitamin D by getting a tan in a non-burning fashion than you would from drinking 100 glasses of whole milk. We are very concerned that the politics of profit-motivated anti-UV groups are misrepresenting the balanced message about sunlight that a true, independent evaluation of the science supports.

The U.S. government in 2000 placed ultraviolet light on the federal government's list of known human carcinogens. But the criteria to be labeled a carcinogen does not take into account the dosage of a substance required to increase risk - which means that the listing only indicts sunburn, not non-burning exposure. According to that report, "The Report does not present quantitative assessments of carcinogenic risk. Listing of substances in the Report, therefore, does not establish that such substances present carcinogenic risks to individuals in their daily lives." This exclusion makes this listing meaningless.

In doing so, ultraviolet light became the first item on that list that humans need to live and would die if they didn't receive.

Smart Tan will continue to report on this issue in Member Advisories and in Tanning Trends magazine and will discuss this listing at length at Smart Tan Downtown: Smart Tan's 14th Annual Convention in Downtown Nashville Oct. 9-11.
QUICK ANSWERS: If asked in your community about this issue, here are answers from Smart Tan you can use:

1.    This list means nothing more than SUNBURN is harmful. There's no research suggesting that non-burning exposure is harmful.

2.    Many of the parties promoting this list have ties to the $35 billion sunscreen industry, which wants you to over-use their product.

3.    Saying that ultraviolet light causes skin cancer and therefore should be avoided is just like saying water causes drowning and therefore should be avoided. You need water in order to live and survive - just as you need ultraviolet light in order to live and survive.

4.    By including UV light on a list of carcinogens without making the statement clear that overexposure, and not mere exposure, is the danger, the makers of this list have made a glaring and fraudulent omission.