Tanning Beds Branded a Top Cancer Risk

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 1:22 AM CDT
An estimated 27 million Americans use tanning salons.   (PRNewsFoto/ETS Tan LLC)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Tanning beds have been upgraded from a probable carcinogen to a definite cause of cancer by World Health Organization experts, Newsday reports. The scientists analyzed over 20 studies and promptly moved the beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into their top category of cancer risks. They concluded that using tanning beds before age 30 raises a person's skin cancer risk by 75%.

"People need to be reminded of the risks of sunbeds," said an agency cancer expert. "We hope the prevailing culture will change so teens don't think they need to use sunbeds to get a tan." Execs from the tanning industry downplayed the findings, stressing that most sunbed customers use them responsibly and that sunlight has also been proven to cause cancer.