WHO Moves Tanning Beds to Highest Carcinogen Rating

July 28, 2009

(ChattahBox) — This is going to upset a lot of people I know. The International Agency for Research on Cancer have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into its highest cancer risk category, joining the likes of asbestos, tobacco, and chimney sweeping, among others.  Scientists have previously classified tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as “probable carcinogens,” since 1992.
A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. Until now, only UVB radiation from solar rays was known to cause a genetic mutation.  But researchers found the same mutation in the skin of mice treated with UVA. The agency decided to reclassify all types of ultraviolet radiation — UVA, UVB and UVC — as carcinogenic to humans or Group 1 carcinogens.

The research was published online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology on Wednesday, by experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization. “The use of sunbeds is carcinogenic to humans. It causes melanoma of the skin, and melanoma of the eye,” said Vincent Cogliano, an IARC researcher who led the new assessment.

“I cannot see any reason why a healthy person should use them,” he told AFP by phone on Wednesday.

Physicians generally hailed the decision, and called for tighter regulations for the multi-billion dollar tanning industry.


2 Responses to “WHO Moves Tanning Beds to Highest Carcinogen Rating”

  1. Chris R on July 29th, 2009 2:08 pm

    Most people who use them will continue to use them. Let’s see how good they look when they’re dying of cancer.

  2. Ronk on July 29th, 2009 2:10 pm

    Say it ain’t so. Who would have guessed that frying your skin with UV rays was bad for you?

    Vanity is a sickness.

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