In a move that seemed common-sensical to many of us, the World Health Organization recently moved tanning beds into the severe cancer risk category. In a study released this week, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, said that tanning booths and beds are as cancer causing in humans as tobacco smoke and mustard gas.
This came as no suprise to many dermatologists who have argued that the harmful UV rays in the sun are also present in tanning beds and can cause harm to the person tanning.
"We, the members of the American Academy of Dermatology, have been fighting this battle for a number of years," Fenske said. "We’ve known for quite some time, through the literature and our own personal observations, that patients who have received abundant amounts of light via tanning beds have developed extraordinary numbers of skin cancers that belie their age."
The doctors do, however, state that if done in moderation tanning beds could be safer. Nevertheless, the tanning industry seems to encourage overuse- often by young, college-aged females. Self proclaimed "tanorexics" line college campuses throughout the country. Hopefully with this elevated warning, people will realize the dangers that exist and try to care for their skin more by perhaps turning to other options such as spray tans. It will be interesting to see what happens with the tanning industry’s business model, if anything.
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