Tanning Beds: Top Cancer Risk

| Wed Jul. 29, 2009 11:20 AM PDT

Yet another reason not to fake bake: Today the World Health Organization elevated tanning beds' UV radiation from the "probable carcinogen" category to "carcinogenic to humans," its highest-risk designation. And if you're a young adult, it gets worse: A review of current studies found that artificial tanning before age 30 increases your melanoma risk by 75 percent.

This is pretty damning news for salons, but the industry seems to be rolling with the punches. The Toronto Star reports:

Steven Gilroy, executive director of the Joint Canadian Tanning Association, which represents 1,200 tanning salons across Canada, dismissed the international agency's report.

"When you dive into the research ... there is no increased risk," he said. The tanning industry has recently promoted the moderate use of artificial tanning as a way to boost vitamin D levels, which tanning proponents say may be associated with lower risk of some forms of cancer.

Yeah, except the WHO did dive into the research, and it found...a definitively increased risk. As for the Vitamin D argument, as I report here, we ain't buyin' it: Most people can get all the D they need from a supplement, with none of the cancer risk.

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