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article imageStudy says tanning beds cause cancer

By Bob Ewing     Jul 29, 2009 in Health
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released a study showing a direct link between tanning beds and skin cancer.
The IARC has moved tanning beds into the highest risk category which means tanning beds and UV definitely cause cancer in humans.
Research published online in the journal Lancet Oncology was the reason the level was raised.
"People need to be reminded of the risks of sunbeds," said Vincent Cogliano, one of the study's authors.
"We hope the prevailing culture will change so teens don't think they need to use sunbeds to get a tan."
Previously tanning beds and UV were considered "probably carcinogenic to humans."
A comprehensive analysis of about 20 studies concluded the risk of skin melanoma is increased by 75 per cent when people started using tanning beds before age 30.
It is impossible to know how many benign skin cancers might be caused by tanning beds, because of complicating factors like exposure to regular sunlight.
The researchers examined data from more than 7,000 melanoma cases and found a strong association between tanning bed use and the disease. This is considered to be comparable to the link found between tobacco and lung cancer.
Not everyone accepts the IARC change, Kathy Banks, chief executive of The Sunbed Association, a European trade association of tanning bed makers and operators said. "The fact that is continuously ignored is that there is no proven link between the responsible use of sunbeds and skin cancer. Most people who use tanning beds use them less than 20 times a year."
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