On July 29th, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), – the cancer division of the World Health Organization – classified tanning beds “carcinogenic to humans.” This means that tanning beds that were previously classified as “probably carcinogenic” have jumped to the head of the class.

They are now in GROUP 1, which is the highest cancer risk group. To put this in perspective, other carcinogens listed in this group are plutonium, mustard gas and arsenic. Quite an impressive group!

These experts upgraded the level after analyzing about twenty studies. They concluded that the risk of melanoma increased by 75 per cent when people started using tanning beds before the age of 30. There is also a higher risk for people who are fair skinned, such as blondes with blue eyes or redheads with freckles, as well as young children.

Melanoma, the deadliest and least common of all skin cancers was once a disease of older white men. Doctors have seen an increase in the number of young people with skin cancer as the use of tanning beds has increased among those under 30. Previous studies found younger people who regularly use tanning beds are eight times more likely to get melanoma than people who have never used them.

The Tanning Association advertises that they only using the tanning rays and not the burning rays (UVB). Actually, UVA is just as bad if not worse than UVB. UVB rays stop at the skin surface and cause your skin to change color, while UVA rays penetrate deeper and destroy your DNA.

Also, the high intensity UVA rays found in tanning beds are 10 to 12 times more powerful than the UV rays from the sun. These rays harm your skin by damaging the DNA of the cell and release free radicals, the chemicals that cause cell mutations.

This not only causes skin aging, but also makes you more susceptible to skin cancer. And as if that wasn’t enough, ultraviolet light also causes cataracts.

Many tanning salons offer sunless tans that can replace the tanning booth. The spray-on tan uses the chemcial DHA to tint the skin. It doesn’t need exposure to ultraviolet ray to initiate the color change and is approved by the FDA for cosmetic use.

Sunless spray tans will last between four and ten days. They give you the look of having been in the sun, but don’t use ultraviolet rays. This is a great sunless alternative!

So as you can see, being in the number one group is not always where you want to be.






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