THE owner of a Burnley tanning salon has posted a lengthy message to his 1,658 Facebook followers saying people should ignore the latest advice from Cancer Research about always using sun protection factor (SPF) cream outside.
Stan Riley, the owner of Jetsun Tanning and Beauty, in Briercliffe Road,  said research has shown that people should get 10 to 20 minutes in the sun before using sun tan lotion to ensure vitamin D levels are given a boost.
He also said he believes sunbeds can be beneficial to those suffering from cancer because they help produce vitamin D.
However, Lancashire Telegraph health expert, Dr Tom Smith, said he disputed Mr Riley’s message.
Mr Riley - who said he offered free tanning sessions to cancer sufferers - spoke out after a study in science journal Nature recommended that sunscreen should always be worn and combined with other ways to protect the skin from sun, such as hats and shade.
In his post, Mr Riley said: “Disregard Cancer UK’s spokesman saying we need to cover up more and use even more SPF cream. This is only adding to the problem.
He then goes on to explain in his Facebook status how to use spf creams in great detail.
“Before you apply SPF you should always get 10 to 20 minutes in the sun before using SPF so that you will synthesise your hormone vitamin D.
“SPF is a multibillion pound industry and is now even in all cosmetics including lipstick. That is the power of the scaremonger cancer industry.”
Responding to claims his messages are irresponsible, Mr Riley said: “I’m passionate about it, I stand by every single word I say as research has suggested my claims. I’m 60-years-old and I’ve used sunbeds for 35 years.
“I use them all the time, I don’t use them for a tan, I use them for vitamin D, because I don’t want cancer and other chronic illnesses as research suggest that vitamin D can protect against all chronic illnesses.
I give people with cancer free sunbed sessions, because they need to optimise vitamin D.”
Dr Smith said: “Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK in the last 20 years. Saying that people should ignore advice about sunscreen is an absolute disgrace and it actually puts them at risk if they listen to it.
Nicola Smith, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.
“We all need a little sunshine to make vitamin D for healthy bones, but enjoying the sun safely while taking care not to burn should help people strike a good balance.
“The best way to protect your skin from sunburn is to spend time in the shade or cover up when you’re out in strong sun.”