Tanning beds as harmful as smoking

New research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that tanning beds are even more dangerous than previously thought. The IARC has moved tanning beds from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to the highest cancer risk category, calling them “carcinogenic to humans”. They will join other Group 1 hazards including cigarettes, asbestos, and arsenic.

This past June, scientists from several different countries met to analyze 20 studies that linked tanning beds and skin cancer. After examining the data, the IARC has found tanning beds can increase the risk of developing skin cancer by 75%, especially if use begins before the age of 30. The IARC also discovered evidence that links tanning beds with melanoma of the eye.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of young women who have been diagnosed with melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer. According to WebMD:

“[IARC’s Vincent] Cogliano said studies conducted over the past decade provide an ‘an abundance of evidence’ that tanning bed use has played a role in this rise, along with direct sun exposure.”

With the release of these results, the World Health Organization hopes to persuade governments to regulate the use of tanning beds, as well as restrict their use to those who are 18 and over.

The report is published in the August issue of Lancet Oncology.

6 Responses to Tanning beds as harmful as smoking

  1. David says:

    Hopefully this information will get widely disseminated. Perhaps insurance companies raising premiums on those who tan frequently would communicate the dangers. Tanning should certainly be outlawed for those under 18 without parental consent, and those over 18 should be provided with a statement of medical facts concerning cancer risk.

  2. Boogliodemus says:

    This would explain why the rise in melanoma in females is mostly in the sensitive areas where the sun doesn’t (usually) shine. Previously it was suggested that the rise was caused by sunscreen which contained PABA. The thinking was that there was a transferrence from hands to genital area while performing routine personal hygiene. Since most women tan in the raw behind a locked door to avoid tan lines, this might be the answer. I think this calls for a much more rigorous and vigorous study.

  3. Rogers says:

    …so what’s the “Stats.Org’ position on tanning-beds as “carcinogenic to humans” ??

    Do you accept the IARC statistical ‘evidence’ as correct ??

  4. jessica says:

    it is well known that smoking causes cancer for quite sometime i dont believe that it is way worse than the occasional visit to the tanning salon

  5. Hopefully, this will make some awareness to those who are under 18 of age.

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