Sunbeds are in the ban-sights again. I've never used one and never will. I like my pallid look. It suits me. Besides, all that UV might destroy my superpower - the dreaded Yellow Finger of Nicotine - by overwriting it with sunburn. The mere sight of the Yellow Finger can cause spontaneous bowel-emptying in antismokers. It's not all that yellow, but it's enough. I wonder if Electrofag can be designed to produce the Yellow Finger of Nicotine? I suppose there's no need. It'll be on the badges we'll have to sew on our clothes soon.
There are many reasons for me not to use sunbeds. I don't turn golden brown. I turn into Lobster Man then shed my skin. There's also the time aspect. I cannot lie still, doing nothing, for that long. Finally, the temptation to write 'Arse' on another sleeping sunbedder's head with black insulating tape would be too much to resist. So I stay away. I don't care if you want to bathe in UV light any more than I care if you want to bathe in nitric acid. I'm wrecking my body in my own way. You wreck yours any way you like. Know the risks, take the risks, have a good time because if you don't, you'll feel very silly one day when you die of nothing.
The Banmeisters want these sunbeds banned. Why? Well, they cause cancer. So does inhaling traffic fumes, going out in the sunshine, taking a shower and eating and drinking just about everything. Sometimes, cancer just happens for no visible reason at all. Sometimes you just can't win.
Okay, it is impossible to deny that bathing in concentrated UV light increases the risk. But did the sunbed kill this woman? Really?
A 31-year-old mother-of-eight died after sunbeds caused a cancerous mole the size of a prune to develop on her leg.
31, mother of eight, wow. She was even more active than smokers. I doubt she was one or it would have been blamed on smoking by now.
Teresa Zawadski had never sunbathed outdoors, instead opting to use the sunbed she kept at her Derbyshire home.
Okay. Can't blame this one on those sunbed parlours then. She had her own, at home, even though it apparently caused even more pregnancies than smoking.
Now her grieving mother has called for an outright ban on the sunbeds she believes were responsible for her daughter's death.
She had her own sunbed, at home, used it her own way, and because she died all of those who own sunbeds must give them up. Will that bring her back? Will it encourage anyone else to read the instructions for any appliance? No, it won't do a thing other than deprive those who like to look as if they spend half the year in Haiti from doing so.
So did the sunbed kill her?
But when a mole on her leg started to grow she was too scared to get it looked at by doctors.
She ignored it until her mother Helen forced her to seek medical help,
No. Cancer killed her. Skin cancer which quite probably was, indeed, initiated by her use of a UV bed. The bed didn't kill her. Ignoring an obvious risk factor associated with her activity over a long period is what killed her. Presumably she kept using the sunbed during the development of the tumour?
I smoke. If I started coughing hard or developed chest pains, I would get that checked because it's a risk associated with smoking. Chest pains could be just too much caffeine (wouldn't be the first time) and a persistent cough could be just too much time stuck indoors, but things like that, whether you're a smoker or not, could be an early sign of something nasty.
I smoke. I know the risks. If I developed signs associated with those risks, I'd get them checked.
Teresa showed me the mole one day and I couldn't believe how big it was. It was the size of a prune and raised from off her skin.
She wouldn't get it checked and she just let it grow.
The sunbed did not kill her. Ignoring a very blatant sign of a developing cancer is what killed her. Tobacco comes with warnings. I don't believe that sunbeds don't come with warnings too. Hell, a packet of peanuts comes with warnings these days. She knew what it was and ignored it.
If she had sunbathed outside instead if using a sunbed, she might still have developed this. Many do. Should we ban the sun?
Derby hospitals' Dr Tanya Bleiker called for a new law which would mean all sunbed users must first sign a consent form to show they have been given information warning of the dangers.
She said: 'Sunbed use increases the risk of skin cancer and I strongly advise people to avoid using them.'
If we are to avoid using something that kills one person, Dr. Bleiker, how would you suggest we regard the NHS?
Going outside increases the risk of skin cancer. Staying in increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Either way, you'd end up in the clutches of the NHS and then you're in big trouble.
Banning things that kill people once in a while is a risky route to take. Once in a while, someone dies of an allergic reaction to a protein in apples, you know.
There is always an NHS medic ready to support a ban on things that might be dangerous.
They have never noticed the irony.