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Burn, Baby, Burn

July 29, 2009

Brit Trogen

Science in Seconds blog Brit Trogen

Well, it's official: pale is the new tan.
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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (a subgroup of the WHO) has moved tanning beds into the highest category of cancer risk -- "carcinogenic to humans".

Previously classified as "probably carcinogenic", this move means that tanning beds are now deemed equally as deadly (from a cancer-causing standpoint) as mustard gas and arsenic.

Sound like overkill? Well, according to twenty recent studies, using a tanning bed before the age of 30 will increase your likelihood of skin cancer by 75%. People under the age of 18 who regularly use tanning beds were also found to be eight times more likely to develop melanoma than those who don't.

I know what you're thinking. Pale, UV-free skin should be coming back into style, right? I can finally bare my pasty white legs with pride, knowing I'm avoiding a horrible fate later in life! Well unfortunately, this probably isn't the case.

In reality, the fact that tanning causes cancer and premature aging has been known for decades, but it still hasn't curbed the pressure on young people to maintain a "healthy" glow year round.

In my opinion, the best we can hope for is a good tanning lotion.

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