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REsearch into the dangers of sunbeds.

Extracts from this document...






Name of student: Therese Anasthasia Seforah

Name of school: G.M.D Atchia State College

Name of supervisor (Teacher): H.Dulgeet

Subject: 21st Century Science5131


I will be conducting this case study in order to find out evidence about whether sunbeds cause only skin cancer or not. As the pressure of young people is to become perfectly preened and tanned steadily increases, more and more turn to sunbeds as a way to find that perfect summer glow. However, the darker the sides to this story is the soaring numbers of skin cancer, are they paying for their vanity, or is it a pure coincidence? – Because in my opinion, it is a currently pressing issue, so many people today are turning to sunbeds, and with the sunbeds they are becoming stronger and stronger, are we killing ourselves? I will find several pieces of information to support each theory and then show my conclusion. In the finding of these pieces of evidence I will be checking of how reliable it is and then I will come to my conclusion.

Background Science Information

In order for my arguments to be explained and to be understood, background information is important to be explained so as to help you to understand clearly the theory about my experiment on sunbeds. In other words, I will help you by providing diagrams, pictures and scientific reviews of course as evidence.

History of sunbeds

Sunbeds was created and it was initially brought to America by the German Friedrich Wolff in 1979. While he was studying the beneficial effects of ultraviolet light on athletes, the German Scientist has an interesting side effect – tanned skin. Realizing the application of a beautiful tan, Wolff founded the indoor tanning industry. His research led to the development of indoor tanning equipment and lamp technology.

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Keratin is a very interesting protein because it is tough; horns, hair, hoofs, fingernails and feathers all gain their strength from keratin. The same stuff that your fingernails are made of actually forms your visible skin (but in a much thinner and more flexible layer). That is what makes your skin so tough. In parts of the body that get a lot of wear, like the palms and the feet, the stratum corneum is thicker to handle the abrasion.

Living among the basal cells in the Malpighian layer is another type of cell called a melanocyte. Melanocytes produce melanin, which is a pigment that is the source of tanning. The melanocytes are actually where a tan comes from.

Here is what the Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about melanocytes:

“The appearance of the skin is partly due to the reddish pigment in the blood of the superficial vessels. In the main, however, it is determined by melanin, a pigment manufactured by dendrite cells called melanocytes, found among the basal cells called melanocytes, found among the basal cells of the epidermis. Their numbers in any one region of the body, which range from about 1,000 to more than 2,000 per square millimeter, are roughly the same within and between races; the blondest whites have as many as the darkest blacks. Colour differences are due solely to the amount of melanin produced and the nature of the pigment granules. When the skin becomes tanned on exposure to sunlight, the melanocytes do not increase in number, only in activity.” (“Integumentary Systems, Pigmentation”, Britannica CD. Version 97. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1997.)image08.gif

Not only do melanocytes produce a tan, they are also responsible for the form of cancer called melanoma. Melanoma is caused by ultraviolet radiation damage to melanocytes. Repeated exposure to ultraviolet can be cancerous.

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Miller, S.A., Hamilton, S.L., Wester, U.G., & Cyr, W.H. (1998). An analysis of UVA emissions from sunlamps and the potential importance for melanoma. Photochemistry and Photobiology; 68(1): 63-70. (Abstract). 
Swerdlow, A.J. & Weinstock, M.A. (1998). Do tanning lamps cause melanoma? Journal of the American

Academy of Dermatology; 38(1): 89-98. (Abstract).   
 DeMarini, D.M., Shelton, M.L., & Stankowski, L.F. (1995). Mutation spectra in Salmonella of sunlight, white fluorescent light, and light from tanning salon beds: induction of tandem mutations and role of DNA repair. Mutation Research. 327(1-2): 131-149. (Abstract).


23/04/11: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/whatis.html

26/04/11: http://www.skincancer.org/SUMMER-2010-Vol.-28-No.-2/


30/04/11: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8172690.stm

30/04/11: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8066978.stm



10/05/11:http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/852.aspx?categoryid=87&subcategoryid=87  25/05/11:file:///C:/Users/Administrator/Downloads/BBC%20NEWS%20%20%20Health%20%20%20'No%20doubt'%20sunbeds%20cause%20cancer.htm

25/05/11: http://winonanet.com/health/articles/1996/feb/tan.html


10/06/11: http://nytsyn.com/live/discuss/cancer/0029.html

10/06/11: http://www.geisner.edu/ghs/pubtips/T/TanningWithouttheSun.htm

16/06/11: http://www.steadyhealth.com/about/health_benefits_of_sunbeds.html 16/06/11: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/type/melanoma/about/melanoma-risks-and-causes#sunbeds

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