For years “Sun Scare” purveyors have floated the bogus argument that sunbeds are more dangerous than natural sun because they are “more intense” than sunlight. That argument is based fully on the fact that most people don’t even know what that means.

In fact, “intensity” and “dosage” are totally different things. And to make their argument sound credible they’re banking on the fact that most people don’t and may never understand that critical difference.

Indoor tanning equipment, like outdoor sunlight, emits UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) light. Of the UV light emitted by the sun at noon in the summer in much of North America, about 95 percent is UVA and 5 percent is UVB.

In fact, more than 90 percent of professional indoor tanning units emit 95 percent UVA and 5 percent UVB in regulated dosages similar to summer sun. Recommended exposure schedules developed by governments in Canada and the United States in cooperation with the tanning industry allow trained indoor tanning operators to set incremental exposure times, based on the “skin type” of a patron, that deliver consistent non-burning dosages of UV light to allow a tanner to gradually build a tan.