Tanning bed users beware: international cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer-risk category—at par with arsenic and mustard gas. In fact, the new classification means tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet light are considered definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus, and chimney sweeping, to name a few.
For years, cancer experts have called tanning beds “probable carcinogens”, but now they have solid proof: they found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused mutations in mice. Prior to this finding, only one form of ultraviolet light was thought to cause cancer. Furthermore, an analysis of 20 previous studies revealed that the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75% when an individual begins tanning before age 30.
Kathy Banks, the chief executive of The Sunbed Association, a European trade association of tanning bed makers and operators, continues to dispute the data, claiming that there is “no proven link between the responsible use of sunbeds and skin cancer”. However, tanning bed use has become extremely popular with the younger crowd, particularly those in their teenage years. Sadly, doctors have seen a parallel rise in the number of young people with skin cancer. As a matter of fact, melanoma—the deadliest skin cancer—has become the leading type of cancer diagnosed in women in their 20s in Britain. Instead of using tanning beds, the American Cancer Society strongly advises people to use bronzing or self-tanning creams. Considering the fact that skin cancer rates were formerly highest in people over 75, the new data on the number of young people with skin cancer is very alarming. So please think twice before going for that tan: remember to wear sunscreen while out in the sun, and avoid the tanning bed–it could save your life.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.