An Australian study published in the International Journal of Cancer is the first to link tanning bed use with early-onset melanoma. A Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, a branch of the World Health Organization) used a sample of 600+ people and reviewed 19 international informative studies. Their findings concluded that “ever use of sunbeds was positively associated with melanoma.”

Well, did it really have to take that many people and that many studies to figure out that if you lay in a box with skin damaging UV radiation burning into your skin then you just might get skin cancer. I don’t know. What do you think?

Tanning bed use increases the risk of melanoma by 15% in both women and men. If a persons first exposure to tanning beds was  before the age of 35 the risk for developing melanoma increases by 75%! (Based on 7 informative studies).

With all the fight and debate over banning tanning for minors, it’s still very shocking that 2.3 million American teenagers visit tanning salons. The study found that the “frequent motivation for indoor tanning are the acquisition of a so-called safe tan and preparation of the skin before sun exposure.” I hope we all know that this a complete myth!  You can read more about how an “artificially induced tan offers virtually no protection against sun-induced DNA damage” in the paragraph with the title, Effects of artificial uv on human skinThe study also states that sun exposure is the main environmental cause of skin cancer, but people may be exposed to UV radiation through artificial sources at home and at the workplace. Examples are lamps used in medicine, industry, business and research, domestic and cosmetic purposes.

The ignorance about the dangers of tanning salons is perpetuated by the false claims that tanning salon owners make to their customers.

False Claims such as:

    1. A “base tan” helps to avoid sunburn.
    2. Red UV light offers skin therapy benefits.
    3. Indoor tanning beds can increase levels of Vitamin D in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.
    4. It isn’t safe not to tan. Avoiding the sun highly increases the risk of developing cancers including skin cancer. (What?!)
    5. Indoor tanning is safer than receiving outdoor exposure to the sun.

The conclusion?

“There is no such thing as a safe tan. Young adults should be discouraged from using indoor tanning equipment and restricted access to sunbeds by minors should be strongly considered.”  ~Dr. Béatrice Secretan, coordinator of the IARC Working Group


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