Sunbeds Officially Cause Cancer

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I’m a bit of a Sun Worshipper, even though most of the time I feel more productive on overcast crappy days.  However, after having a mole checked for Melanoma yesterday (all clear!), it became clear to me that a little extra sunscreen might be in order next time I go camping in July.  Besides the excruciating pain and my poor wife having to listen to me whine about how much pain the blisters caused, it taught me yet another life lesson – my wife is always right.

So, after that bit of rambling – a related story that came out a week or so ago was the fact that sun tanning beds officially can cause cancer.  It kinda makes sense, doesn’t it?  Whether you bake yourself in the sun for hours on end or bake yourself for whatever predetermined amount of time lying in a sun bed, is it really a surprise when you get toasted by the ultraviolet ninja?

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Research done by the International Agency for the Research of Cancer (IARC), who makes recommendations to the World Health Organization (WHO), repositioned their findings to state that sunbeds and sunning lamps are “carcinogenic to humans” from their previous statement that they were “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Guess who calls BS on that statement?  The Sunbed Association in the UK, of course!  That’s like politicians in the United States saying that lighting designers can’t practice unless they’re licensed architects because it benefits everybody.  Oh wait…

From the article at the BBC:

Previously, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed sunbeds and sunlamps as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

But it now says their use is definitively “carcinogenic to humans”.

Campaigners believe the move, announced in the journal Lancet Oncology, will increase pressure for tighter industry regulation of sunbed use.

The new assessment puts sunbed use on a par with smoking or exposure to asbestos.

I kind of don’t understand the principal behind sunbeds – is it like the orange ridiculousness that is “tanning lotion?” That stuff always looked so fake to me. I guess we don’t have time to go outside and enjoy the sun anymore. Again, from the article:

[The IARC] made its decision following a review of research which concluded that the risk of melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer – was increased by 75% in people who started using sunbeds regularly before the age of 30.

In addition, several studies have linked sunbed use to a raised risk of melanoma of the eye.

The charity Cancer Research UK warned earlier this year that heavy use of sunbeds was largely responsible for the number of Britons being diagnosed with melanoma topping 10,000 a year for the first time.

In the last 30 years, rates of the cancer have more than quadrupled, from 3.4 cases per 100,000 people in 1977 to 14.7 per 100,000 in 2006.

If you use a sun bed, please use it sensibly! I hate hearing about people getting fatally ill from luxury items.