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Health


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PAINFUL RAYS


Golden Days or


By: Abigail Evon penetrate With all the hype over get-


ting the perfect tan, I recently de- cided to see for myself what tan- ning is all about. I called a local salon and set up a time to visit. When I walked in, the friendly attendant offered to explain the machines, the tanning process, and make some recommenda- tions. I learned that each tanning bed consists of 24 to 60 florescent lamps, which are 100 to 200 watts each. Some tanning beds only emit UVA rays, which are more harmful because they work faster than UVB rays. Other tanning beds have a combination of UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays


the deeper skin layers, bringing out the bronze faster. There is always a greater percentage of UVA rays, of- ten 97 to 3, because UVB rays are more likely to cause sunburn. Now I had to choose whether I wanted to go through with this, and which combi- nation of ultra-violet rays I should submit myself to.After the salon at- tendant had properly and thoroughly informed me about how to use the machine, I was left by myself in a low-lit room with a full length mirror, a chair, a towel, tanning lotion, and five minutes on the clock. When this time had expired, the lights would come on and my experience would begin. I quickly undressed and


began applying the cool, slimy lotion. Some people prefer some coverage, while others tan nude to prevent tan lines. I saw the eye protection piece, but not realizing what it was, I set it aside and climbed up onto the bed. I pulled the top down and pushed the button. The lights came on, and the speakers above my head began blaring the first song on the playlist. Wow, I thought, so warm, so fast! I found the volume button and managed to turn it down a couple notches as I squinted my eyes against the brightness. Then I closed them and just re- laxed. Ahh, self-pampering feels so good, I smiled. A few min- utes later, I suddenly glanced in the mirror positioned directly above my face. I gasped. Oh no, that’s way more freckles than I had when I got in here! Oh well, I told myself, the entire session


You might think twice about tanning after knowing these facts... #1


One person dies of melanoma


cancer every hour.


#2


Skin cancer is most


deadly for Afri-


cans, Asians, and Latinos.


#3


More than one


million cases of skin cancer are di- agnosed in a year.


18


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