When you hear the words “arsenic” and “mustard gas”, you may think of chemical warfare or deadly poisons. Scientists have even gone on to label them “probable carcinogens”. These two items are also listed in the top cancer-risk category and recently scientists have added one more item to this category: tanning beds.
The World Health Organization wrapped up an analysis using cancer experts and 20 different studies. Their results found that if you start exposing yourself to tanning lamps before the age of 30, your risk of dangerous skin cancer increases by 75 percent! Equally disconcerting was a study that exposed mice to the UV rays found in tanning beds and resulted in a number of “worrying mutations” in cells.
What does this new classification mean, though? It labels tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as definite causes of cancer, right up there with cigarette smoking, hepatitis B, inhalation from chimney sweeping, and more.
With less and less possibilities to lay out at the pool or get a tan on a weekend vacation to the beach, people will begin turning to tanning beds to achieve their desired bronze glow. Doctors are seeing more and more cases of skin cancer in young people and with the summer months slowly coming to a close, it is more important than ever to be reminded of the dangers of tanning beds.
This new information solidifies the importance of being proactive about your skin health. Always wear sunscreen and protective clothing and get your moles checked regularly by a dermatologist you trust. If a tan is something you really desire, there are safer options (like spray tans) that you should consider. A tan is not worth the safety of your skin.