Monday, May 10, 2004


The tanning salon in the Porter Exchange advertises its services, at least on one poster, as “heliotherapy” -- which is used to treat what? Morbid lack of skin cancer? But this self-serving pseudoscientific phrase is used all over by the tanning industry.

“Of course you love the way you look with a beautiful tan, but did you know that regular exposure to UV light could help you live a longer, healthier life?” one Web site asks. “It is recognized that sunburn and long-term UV-overexposure can cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. However, there is no proof that moderate tanning is harmful.”

Nor is there, unfortunately, proof that there is such a thing as moderate tanning.

Still, better heliotherapy than paleontology, right?

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