Published 15.02.2008 , updated: 29.05.2013, 13:50
Nordic radiation protection and health authorities have issued a joint advisory against the use of sunbeds. It is internationally agreed upon that the following groups of people should not use artificial tanning devices:
If you intend to use a sunbed anyway to achieve or maintain a tan, it is important to ensure that it has been approved by NRPA. Furthermore, users should endeavour not to exceed recommended exposure times, and they should ensure that their annual dose of UV radiation from the use of sunbeds remains as low as possible. Pay special attention to the following:
We need sun exposure. Extensive tanning, however, increases the risk of skin cancer, and both UVB and UVA radiation can contribute to cancer. Acute sunburn and excessive doses of radiation in the tanning salon are both harmful. Furthermore, too much radiation can harm the elasticity of the skin and leads to premature ageing and the earlier appearance of wrinkles. There are absolutely NO grounds whatsoever to support the notion that radiation from a sunbed is less harmful than radiation from the sun. UV radiation from an artificial tanning device is mainly the same as from the sun. However, UV radiation emitted from an approved sunbed is much more intense than the Norwegian summer sun. A sunbed may emit up to 50% more UVB radiation than the Norwegian summer sun and 2–4 times as much UVA radiation. Furthermore, the whole body is exposed to UV in a sunbed, whereas maximum half the body can be exposed out in the sun.
There is no need to use sunbeds to obtain sufficient levels of Vitamin D. You may add the vitamin either through the regular food intake or in the form of a dietary supplement. There are many positive effects with healthy eating habits and proper nutrition.For most people, sun exposure (UVB) of the skin is sufficient to synthesis Vitamin D during the summer months. A working group from the National Council of Nutrition has recently reviewed the need for measures to obtain sufficient Vitamin D levels in the Norwegian population. In conclusion, most Norwegians have sufficient levels of the vitamin, and higher levels compared to sunnier countries in Southern Europe. It seems that Norwegians compensate for less UV exposure be eating more fatty fish, cod oil, Vitamin D supplements and food with Vitamin D fortified fat. During the late winter months the Vitamin D level in the blood may be too low, and the working group recommends regular fish meals. Alternatively, those with low fish intake and low sun exposure should use Vitamin D supplements. Be aware that sunbeds are meant for achieving or maintaining a tan, and not optimal for Vitamin D synthesis. Furthermore, the exposure time for Vitamin D synthesis in the skin is much shorter than the time needed to achieve a tan.
No, it is not recommended. Instead you should follow the sunwise advices from the Norwegian Cancer Society while being on your vacation. Many people become sunburned while acquiring a tan at the sun tanning salon because the UV radiation is much more intense than the Norwegian summer sun. Sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer. UVA radiation causes the pigment that is already present in the skin to darken, but does not contribute to increased production of pigment or to the thickening of the outer layer of skin which provides protection against further doses of UV radiation. It is UVB radiation that gives rise to this effect. This thickening of the skin affords better protection to light skin types upon continued exposure than the brown colour does. Visiting the tanning salon before a vacation may cause prolonged sunbathing during the vacation and thereby causes excessive UV exposure of the skin and increasing the risk of cancer.
From 1 January 2014 all tanning studios in Norway must have trained staff to guide the customers. Tanning salons that are staffed with trained personnel are able to advise individually about the correct dose and will apprise customers of the risks.