Sunbathing Case Study

• Introduction I have chosen sunbathing as I think it is important that people my age know about the long term and short term risks and problems sunbathing can cause, I am interested in this as I think the long term risk is not worth the short term tan and I would like to warn others about the highly dangerous risks that just aren’t worth taking. Although sunbathing can enhance your looks and self confidence, it can be very harmful when not used properly, used too often or used without UV protection creams. • Scientific Information Ultraviolet or UV rays have a shorter wave length than visible light yet is longer than X-rays.

UV rays are not visible to humans yet are visible to some insects. UV rays get their name from electromagnetic waves which frequencies are higher than those that humans can identify as the colour violet. Although ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the human eye, a lot of people are aware of the effects of UV rays in tanning beds and the sun through sunburn and skin cancer. -Wikipedia The electromagnetic spectrum, this picture demonstrates the approximate wave length, colours of the rays, the scale of wave length and whether they can penetrate the earth’s atmosphere. Arguments for and against Sunbathing

Against: Teenagers who use sun beds are at a much higher risk of getting cancer than those who don’t. This is because of the high exposure to UV rays. So how does cancer form? Sunbathing causes cancer through ionising radiation found in UV rays, gamma rays and x rays, these three rays are high in energy and when the photons from these rays hit the atom, this breaks the atom into smaller parts called ions this then damages the cells through ionisation, the cell then loses all power to control cell division and growth, this causes the cell to grow rapidly this then forms a cancerous tumor.

Brittany Lietz, a teenager obsessed with beauty and her appearance shared her story about how she was ‘’addicted’’ to tanning, unaware of the affects. She first noticed the affects of the UV rays when she noticed the mole ‘’the size of a pencil eraser’’ starting to ‘’grow into the size of a nickel. ” But what she says she didn’t notice was her “skin started to have a ‘leathery’ complexion and I also started to develop wrinkles on my face. ” Due to her not noticing these affects her condition started to worsen due to the fact she continued to use sun beds.

Because Brittany Lietz continued to use sun beds this caused the cells in the mole to mutate through ionisation because the atoms in the cells were often exposed to photons in UV rays causing it to rapidly grow and form skin cancer. For: Although sun bathing can cause problems like cancer a lot of people enjoy it because they say it improves their confidence in how they look which makes them happier. People also claim they feel better about themselves. This is probably due to the scientific studies that show UV rays in sunlight helps stimulate the production of endorphins ‘the happy hormone’.

Another benefit is that sunbathing stimulates the produce of vitamin D form the 7-dehydrocholesterol which is a zoosterol that functions as a cholesterol precursor, to produce vitamin D. Although spending too much time in the sun can cause cancer spending too little time in the sun can cause malnutrition of vitamin D, this is because it is formed from the 7-dehydrocholestrol in the human skin by exposure to sunlight. Because of this deficiency of vitamin D it can cause problems like rickets and SAD. Conclusion

My opinion is that sun beds should not be used due to risks of cancer and skin problems, but that the right amounts of exposure to sun can be good for you due to the fact it stimulates the synthesis of vitamin D and the production of endorphins.

Bibliography OCR 21st Centaury Science, GCSE Higher Science Book. 7/12/2011 This source is very reliable since it is a school textbook. www. wikipidia. com 8/12/2011 This website may not be reliable; this is probably due to the fact that anyone from the public can edit it. www. netdoctor. co. uk 2/1/2012 This website will probably be reliable since it is a professional medical help website.www. divinecaroline. com 3/2/2012.

This website is kind of reliable since it was an interview but it didn’t have any science specialists so it may have not been reliable at the same time. www. hopkinsmedicine. org 8/2/2012 This website is reliable because it is a medicine website and will be checked over by a doctor. www. cancerresearchuk. org/ 10/2/2012 This website will be reliable as it a cancer charity and is probably wrote up by professional scientists since it is a research charity.Google. co. uk A sun lamp. -Google. co. uk How vitamin D is produced through sun exposure.

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