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Anorak | If ‘tan mum’ wants a burnt-to-the-crisp complexion, that’s her choice

If ‘tan mum’ wants a burnt-to-the-crisp complexion, that’s her choice

by | 11th, May 2012

WITH her burnt-to-a-crisp complexion, New Jersey’s ‘tanorexic’ mum Patricia Krentcil looks like a poster girl for anti-tanning campaigns. In fact, no sooner had she received notoriety for her exceptionally brown skin (picture captions have even clarified that she is ‘not in blackface’) than health campaigners adopted her as a scarecrow, using her high-profile case as fodder to renew their efforts to extend indoor tanning bans.

Krentcil stands accused of imposing her passion for tanning on her five-year-old daughter after the girl told a school nurse that she got a burn mark after going ‘tanning with mummy’. The 44-year-old mum says that her daughter got the burn from playing outside in the sun. Krentcil believes that she is the victim of witchhunt  and says that whoever is going after her is doing it because they are ‘jealous, they’re fat and they’re ugly’. Move over, Samantha Brick!

If convicted of taking her daughter into the tanning booth, Krentcil could face up to 10 years in prison. She is already a pariah in the indoor tanning community (if there is such a thing), having been banned from salons across New Jersey. But is this extreme tanner really a good example of why tanning is bad for you? And  is  tanning really bad for you?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and other health groups think so. They are pushing for a ban on indoor tanning for anyone under 18.  Current local laws  prohibit under-14s from using indoor tanning beds, but older teenagers can use them if they have parental permission. With some researchers going as far as suggesting that tanning can be a deadly addiction, anti-tanning campaigns are typically not only targeted at minors but also strive to send a message to us all that bronzing is bad.

‘A 43 per cent increase in melanoma cases over the last 10 years’,  said  ACS’s vice president of advocacies, Blair Horner, ‘that staggering number should be a call to New Jersey lawmakers to act’. He was  referring  to data from the  Archives of Dermatology  journal and he apparently believes there is a correlation between the growth in melanoma and the increasing popularity of indoor tanning among young adults in New Jersey.

Sam Shuster, emeritus professor of dermatology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, disputes claims that indoor tanning is deadly and believes that the push to extend sun tanning bans in the wake of the tanning mum scandal is ‘irrational’.

Shuster has long been a vocal critic of the theory that UV-light exposure causes deadly skin cancer (read a longer interview with him on this topic  here ). While there is solid proof, he says, that ultraviolet rays cause the most common skin cancers (basal and squamous), when it comes to the more serious

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Posted: 11th, May 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink