Tanning beds compared to mustard gas

July 28, 2009 2:53:49 PM PDT
For years, scientists have described tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as probable carcinogens. Now, international cancer experts are saying that tanning beds are as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before the age of 30.

The study also found all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, which they say is proof that radiation is carcinogenic. The new classification means tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, along with tobacco and the hepatitis B virus. The research is published online in the journal Lancet Oncology.

A European tanning bed association maintains there is no proven link between the responsible use of sun beds and skin cancer. It said most users of tanning beds use them less than 20 times a year.


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