Off-campus housing complexes should stop offering tanning

By Lanthorn Editorial Board | 4/19/18 1:48am

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Few feelings are better than lying out to tan and enjoying the warmth of the sun, especially considering the distinct lack of sunlight in Allendale lately. To remedy this lack of warmth, many people find themselves resorting to tanning beds to get that bronzy glow. However, because of the dangers associated with the radiation brought on by tanning beds, as well as other negative side effects, frequent tanners are putting themselves at serious risk. 

With nearly one dozen locations scattered near Grand Valley State University for students to utilize for tanning, it’s easier than ever for young adults to open themselves up to the risk of developing cancer at an early age as a result of frequenting tanning beds. 

Not to mention, many off-campus housing complexes in Allendale offer tanning services to their residents, meaning these cancer crates are as accessible as ever. While GVSU cannot force these apartments to shut down their beds since they are indeed off campus, they, along with everybody else with a strong opinion on the matter, can and should make their voices heard and encourage them to be shut down. 

While not everybody who steps into a tanning bed will necessarily develop some form of skin cancer, there are less fatal but nevertheless undesirable effects associated with this method of skin-bronzing. According to skincancer.org, the cumulative damage caused by UV radiation can lead to premature skin aging, such as wrinkles, lax skin, brown spots and more. And these are only the non-deadly side effects. 

Many people figure they can make a one-time trip to the salon for a skin touch-up, but according to a 2017 study conducted by researchers at Georgetown University, 20 percent of women who tan show signs of a developed dependency on the process. This means that, similar to alcohol or nicotine, tanning can arguably become addictive. 

Tanning beds are, in a word, dangerous. Luckily for those who wish to tan their skin for the summer, there are alternatives available, such as spray tans, that are far safer than the UV-ray exposure offered by several off-campus housing complexes. Although spray tans may only last for a week or so, they are much safer than tanning beds. 

It is understandable that off-campus housing complexes are looking for amenities to set themselves about from the competition and attract residents to fill their apartments, but surely there are other amenities they could offer. Off-campus housing complexes should switch to offering free cable packages or other perks that draw in potential leasers without jeopardizing their health.

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