Despite having “great white sharks” in the title and a photo of a breaching white shark as a lead-in, the Telegraph article, Sunbeds now seem to be as deadly as great white sharks , has little to nothing to do with great white sharks, at all. It merely serves as a reminder that there are people in the media who will use sharks to grab the attention of a potential audience. (Yes, the article even suckered me in with the title.)
The only mention of great white sharks in the article occurs when author, Bryony Gordon, states, “This week, the World Health Organisation warned that sunbeds are as dangerous as cigarettes and asbestos, which is to say very, very dangerous, almost as dangerous as the great white shark, or lying down in front of a steamroller.”
Actually, Mr. Gordon, statistically-speaking, great white sharks are far less dangerous than cigarettes or asbestos. If you were to compare the number of cancer-related deaths attributed to sunbed use, cigarette use, or asbestos exposure to the number of human deaths caused by white sharks, I think you would find the number of deaths caused by white sharks to be negligible in comparison. The U.S. CDC reports the annual number of deaths due to cigarette use at 440,000 a year, in the U.S. alone. Annual asbestos-related deaths in the U.S. were estimated at over 14,000 in 2002 and are expected to continue to rise. In contrast, the annual number of deaths GLOBALLY, due to white shark attacks, is routinely in the single digits. So, Mr. Gordon, cigarettes and asbestos are not “almost as dangerous as the great white shark.” They are far more dangerous.
I wasn’t able to find any stats on lying down in front of a steamroller, so I apologize to the steamrollers of the world, if you’re being unjustly associated with cigarettes, asbestos, and sunbeds.