Tanning beds definite carcinogen

By: Maddie Garrett Email
By: Maddie Garrett Email

It’s no surprise that too much time in the tanning bed can be dangerous for your health. But a new study released yesterday reveals just how much.

International cancer experts say that the ultraviolet radiation from tanning bed bulbs is a definite cause of cancer. For years scientists have described those UVA rays as “probable carcinogens.”

Medical journal Lancet Oncology published the research. It now ranks tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and arsenic.

“Whether it’s sunshine or ultra violet tanning in a tanning bed, there is no safe way,” said Dr. Mark Koone, a dermatologist at Texoma Dermatology Clinic in Sherman.

Dr. Koone said it’s especially important for Texans to be wary of ultraviolet rays, because the sun is so intense in this region.

“If you’re getting ultra violet radiation enough to the point where you get a tan it means you’ve caused DNA damage, you’ve caused mutations in your skin,” explained Dr. Koone.

But what do these findings mean for local tanning businesses?

Joan Thompson owns Electric Beach Tan, the first tanning salon to open its doors in Denison 20 years ago. She says the reason customers keep coming back is because they enjoy the tanning experience.

“It’s just relaxing for a lot of people because it’s their me time,” said Thompson.

And even though that relaxation could come at a price, she said she isn’t too worried about her business.

“I think no, it’s not going to change people that really love to tan, because this business has been in place for too long,” said Thompson.

Dr. Koone seems to feel the same way, although he hopes people will heed the research’s findings.

“My gut feeling is the behavior overall probably won’t change that much, this is just confirming what we’ve already suspected,” said Dr. Koone.

The new analysis combined about 20 studies and concluded that the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30.

One mother said she's been following the research and is always adamant about sun protection for her family. Kate Whitfield of Sherman said it’s an effort worthwhile and will pay off in the long run.

So as for “fake n bake?” Well she said that's out of the question.

"We haven't had any skin burns and we've never had anybody even ask to go to a tanning parlor because they know that would be not acceptable," said Whitfield.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mr Kerry Location: North Texas on Aug 2, 2009 at 02:26 PM
    I just got in From tanning at the pool and I look Goooooooooooooooood!!!! I hope I don't get Cancer, I would hate to think I had to depend on Obamaramas CommieCare to heal me.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 2, 2009 at 11:20 AM
    Just wait, someone will find out we all live very close to a fusion reactor, and make us stay indoors, only coming out at night. BTW, that fusion reactor is otherwise known as the SUN. So calm down, you no-nukes clowns....
  • by Anonymous on Jul 31, 2009 at 04:49 PM
    I kind of laugh at all the women with the dark leathery-looking skin, the result of way too much tanning... it looks absolutely awful. And they think their tans make them so hot...
  • by Hoping Location: For the worse on Jul 31, 2009 at 02:10 PM
    I'm glad my ex has been using those for years and years. Hope she continues! LOL!
  • by T Location: California on Jul 31, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    Hate to say this, but they're saying it's just as dangerous as smoking. Well, I know people who smoked for years and they never got cancer. I think it has to do with your genes more than anything and I still think it's safer than going outside to tan. Now people will start spray tanning more and in 10 years we will hear about how the chemicals fom spray tanning cause cancer!
  • by pat on Jul 31, 2009 at 10:02 AM
    Jamie you better get off your phone and read this !!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Cosechia Location: FT HOOD TEXAS on Jul 31, 2009 at 08:55 AM
    I am an american soldier if i am woman enough to come fight for my country then tanning in tanning bed ain't going to change just cuz some dr says it gonna give me freaking cancer i gotta greater risk of dying from a bullet or dipping. so this story was pointless.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 30, 2009 at 11:42 PM
    Not according to the tanning bed manufacturers! I know, let's call the government and get a NEW law to ban all of us from going outside in the SUN! Yes, let's take away MORE freedoms!
  • by Mr Kerry Location: North Texas on Jul 30, 2009 at 09:08 PM
    Ok, that settles it, I will sacrifice my Backyard for all the Hot Lades who need a place to Tan.
  • by steve on Jul 30, 2009 at 07:17 PM
    Duh!
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