Are tanning beds the same as the natural sun?

February 27th, 2016 by webuser

Thanks for your question. According to a European Commission report; There is no difference in the biological (and general health) effects induced by UV radiation in respect to their origin, the natural solar UV or artificial UV from e.g. tanning devices. The difference is the intensity coming from the source. Solar UV changes (mix of UVA and UVB and intensity) based on the time of day, distance from the equator, time of year, cloud cover, altitude. A 20-minute sunbed session that has a UV output that mimics sunlight is equal to 58 minutes on a sunny day in in July with the UV index at 8 in Canada, according to Health Canada.

A sunny day at noon in July has about 5% UVB and 95% UVA mix. Sunlight spectrum is made up of about 5% UV that hits the earth. The majority of lamps for sunbeds today mimic sunlight, except the intensity. UVB is less intense, and in a fluorescent lamp, the intensity is 2 to 3 times stronger for UVA. A high pressure lamp has almost pure UVA and can be 5 to 10 that of sunlight. This is why sunbed session times are so low.

The big difference in exposure is a sunbed is constant, and if you use a professional salon, they have trained and certified operators controlling the equipment. To find a professional salon go to

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