Go to College, Get a Tan, Get Melanoma (For the Lucky Ones: You Can Look Like 50 at Age 30)

A tarot card, showing "Death".

In the university town where I live, several of the apartment complexes, where many of the students rent, provide free access to tanning beds. Wow . . . it takes a long while for the RISK/benefits of tanning to reach students. In the Jan 14, 2014 post, Guest Blogger Liza Engstrom discussed exercise clubs in our community providing tanning as an extra membership benefit .


Now, a University of North Carolina junior, Alaina Zeitany, who is majoring in nutrition, has submitted a petition to the Chapel Hill, NC town council to “prohibit free unregulated tanning bed use.” The town staff will begin due process on the issue.


The Orange County health director, Colleen Bridger, submitted a very strong letter to the town, opposing free tanning bed use in apartments and urging the town to “take whatever action you can to immediately stop this harmful process.”


All parts of a town should be working to bring good health to a community. Kudos to the establishment and students on working together on this issue.


Your blogger has a modest suggestion: Turn tanning into an educational experience. Develop a deck of Tarot cards that the tanner must view before entering the booth.

  • Card 1 – 7,600 new melanomas a year. Melanoma can kill.
  • Card 2 – 10,000 deaths from melanoma every year.
  • Card 3 – Ultraviolet light is the most important risk factor for melanoma.
  • Card 4 – Those with fair skin and red or blond hair are at higher risk for melanoma.
  • Card 5 – There are genetic risk factors for melanoma.


See the Wednesday Jan 27, 2015 Chapel Hill News for full reporting on this issue.





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