We’ve known for years that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) increases a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. We are often asked about the safety of using tanning beds or lamps. Unfortunately, there is no safe tan.
In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC), part of the World Health Organization, added UV emitting tanning beds and lamps to the list of most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation. The IARC report cited research showing that tanning is especially hazardous to young people; those who use sunbeds before age 30 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent.
The authors also pointed to studies showing a link between UV radiation from indoor tanning devices and melanomas of the skin and eyes. Melanoma will kill an estimated 8,650 people in the US this year alone. And melanoma isn’t the only problem: people who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma kills an estimated 2,500 Americans a year. (Source: www.skincancer.org)