That’s how a group of cancer experts are now classifying tanning beds:
International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. For years, scientists have described tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as “probable carcinogens.”
A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. Previously, only one type of ultraviolet radiation was thought to be lethal.
The new classification means tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.
It amazes me how many people depend on tanning beds to “look good”. A couple of weeks I heard the life squad get dispatched to a twelve year old girl who was unconscious and had a bad rash after being in a tanning bed. Instantly I thought “why in the hell is a 12 year old girl in a tanning bed?” It’s the middle of summer and if she wants a tan do what I did – go outside. Hell you might even get some exercise while at it.
Here in Ohio there is legislation in the works to outlaw tanning beds for children under 18. This is a great step and considering the lethality of tanning beds is now equivalent to that of cigarettes, its only safe to assume the same limitations should apply to both. I just wonder how strong the tanning bed lobby is.