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Controversy Continues: Expert Weighs In On 'Tanning Mom' And 'Tanorexia'

MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The so-called New Jersey tanning mom said she is "innocent" of bringing her daughter into a tanning salon, but experts are weighing in on the dangers of anyone exposed to ultraviolet-A light from tanning booths.

Patricia Krentcil proclaimed her innocence Wednesday against charges she burned her 6-year-old daughter Anna by bringing her along to a tanning session.

However, controversy continues to swirl over her.

CBS 2 learned Wednesday night that Krentcil would go every other day to her local Nutley tanning bed for 12-minute treatments, but she and the salon deny ever allowing the child into the booth.

Krentcil's husband has said the bronzed skin is merely a hobby of his 44-year-old wife.

"She enjoys tanning, and I just think that's a thing that she does," he said.

But tanning can be dangerous and deadly, according to some experts.

"There is no such thing as a healthy tan. That is a myth that Coco Chanel propagated," Manhasset dermatologist Dr. John Walczyk told CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan.

Walczyk, who is also a Columbia professor said tanning booths can produce more deadly cancers that even the sun.

"When you are looking at the mother, what you are seeing is extreme sun damage, acquired over years, chronic and it's also acute," he said.

The dermatologist said ultraviolet-A light has been strongly linked to melanomas and that skin cannot recover from sun damage and tanning booths. He also said that children must be protected.

"The sun never forgives and never forgets and 80 percent of your sun damage in a lifetime is done before the age of 18," Walczyk said.

Currently states enforce age restrictions for tanning and now many counties are seeking outright bans of tanning salons.

Recent studies have shown ultraviolet-A exposures from tanning booths increase the chances of melanoma -- the most deadly of skin cancers -- by 50 percent.

What is your take on "Tanning Mom" and so-called Tanorexia?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below...

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