Warning about the dangers of Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are as deadly as mustard gas, arsenic, plutonium and other known carcinogens, international cancer experts have ruled. The International Agency for Research on Cancer yesterday moved UV tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation to its highest cancer risk category, removing any ambiguity about their threat by labelling them “carcinogenic to humans.”

The move was based on a comprehensive review of studies, which found the risk of skin melanoma increases by 75 per cent when the use of tanning devices starts before the age of 30. The report, by the agency’s Cancer Monograph Working Group, was published online Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet Oncology. The agency is the cancer arm of the World Health Organization.

Until now, ultraviolet radiation and UV tanning equipment have been classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The new classification places them alongside other known cancer-causing agents, including asbestos, benzene and the human papillomavirus. Cancer experts and advocacy groups welcomed the elevated classification. “This is important … it is another piece of evidence one can point to from a very conservative and eminent body,” said Dr. David Hogg, a cancer physician at Princess Margaret Hospital. “It doesn’t change my opinion, which is tanning beds are a dangerous carcinogen and should not be used at all.

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