By Séamus Smyth

The debate no longer persists over whether tanning beds are a joy or a risk, but has shifted to a discussion regarding when they should be completely eliminated from strip malls and society in general.

An overwhelming amount of evidence has been provided over the past year demonstrating the ill-effects of over-exposure to the UV rays present in tanning beds. Not only is it leading to an increase in any form of cancer, but in fact the most dangerous form of skin disease, melanoma.

Society’s lust for a smooth golden bronze seems to have temporarily blinded not only the youth, but men and woman in general, from the drastic health risks that derive from excessive tanning.

With the file cabinets now spilling with affirmations suggesting a direct correlation between melanoma and roasting under pseudo-sunshine, it’s well past due to chuck the ridiculously-named tanning lotion in favour of the neglected, yet now vital sun-block.

The tan radiates a reputation of health and happiness, but this reflection is horribly deceiving. Obesity is the A-list celebrity of the future generation’s impending health disasters, but the less-discussed typhoon of worrisome hospital bills is that of skin cancer.

Awareness amongst youth is imperative to ensure that melanoma and skin cancer in general does not sky-rocket due to an obsession to resembling a primed raisin or a roasted chestnut.

The sun is a tempting mistress that is painfully beautiful when appreciated from away, but she is a poisonous vixen when visited too frequently. The present and future generations must begin to respect this massive ball of fire before she stings too many.

Although society cannot throw a blanket over the sun when she exceeds a comfortable and healthy temperature, men and women can certainly begin to avoid baking in human microwaves for inordinate periods of time. Yes, the tan is as sexy as the sun is yellow and orange, but it appears that safer alternatives must be sought out in order to avoid a severe health crisis.