Tanning Beds Raise Risk of Deadly Cancer

Researchers track more than 75,000 subjects over 20 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 26, 2011 2:04 PM CDT
Tanning beds boost the risk of deadly skin cancers, a study says.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

(Newser) – The risk of life-threatening skin cancer increases with the frequency of tanning bed use, a 20-year study finds. Between 1989 and 2009, researchers tracked the tanning practices of more than 73,000 nurses, both while they were in high school and college and from age 25 to 35. They learned that every four tanning-bed sessions increased the risk of basal and squamous cell carcinoma by 15%.

Meanwhile, the risk of melanoma—an even more dangerous and rarer cancer—climbed 11%. Younger tanners in high school and college suffered a greater risk from the tanning booths, the Los Angeles Times reports. The news follows the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that tanning beds be banned for those under 18; California instituted such a law this month. Click to read why coffee drinkers may be safer.

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