A tanning bed, more commonly known as sunbed, is an ultraviolet radiation-emitting device that offers to give its users a cosmetic tan.
The tanning bed was a product of a medical research. A medical company called Heraeus produced the world’s first ultraviolet indoor tanning lamp, precursor to the tanning bed system, in Germany in 1906. This invention was used on people who needed stronger bones and more calcium in the body.
Tanning Bed History
But the first real UV tanning bed was invented by a German scientist named Friedrich Wolff in the early 1970s. It was by accident. Using artificially produced indoor UV light, Wolff was doing a medical study on the benefits of more exposure to sunlight to athletes. Somewhere along the way, he noticed a side effect that he did not anticipate: the athletes developed a healthy tan. It was a time when tan was a very popular fashion statement so Wolff took advantage of it and invented the first tanning bed. It became a massive sensation throughout Europe since many areas in the continent have fewer days of sunshine than most parts of the world. He, then, brought the technology to the United States in 1978. Today, the indoor tanning industry enjoys tremendous popularity. Indoor tanning salons are everywhere.
Benefits of Tanning Beds
Tanning beds offer numerous benefits to people. Compared to outdoor tanning, a tanning bed allows its users total control. It is convenient and is not dependent on nature. You can get your much wanted tan anytime. It also minimizes the risk of getting a sunburn while giving you virtually the same amount of ultraviolet and same level of tan. However these advantages do not make tanning beds safe.
Health Warnings to Consider
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), using UV tanning devices like tanning beds for cosmetic reasons is not advisable because of some adverse effects. Using tanning beds without the proper eyewear damages the eyes and often results in arc eyes. UVA (a type of ultraviolet radiation) produced by tanning beds is sometimes blamed for promoting the development of skin cancer. It is also said to be causing premature aging signs such as sunspots, loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles. Sanitation is also a subject of heated debates regarding tanning beds and salons.
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