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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS - 18/9/08

'Safe' tan with UV impossible: study

Thursday September 18th, 2008

People aged below 18 years should be banned from using indoor tanning beds, experts warned today.

The call was made by three leading researchers in the fields of cell biology, dermatology and epidemiology.

There is no such thing as a 'safe' tan, said the researchers in a series of papers published in the October issue of Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research.

In one paper, Dr David E Fisher and colleagues from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, said both tanning and skin cancer seemed to begin with the same event - DNA damage from UV exposure.

They said this suggested that a 'safe' tan with UV may be a physical impossibility.

"UVR exposure represents one of the most avoidable causes of cancer risk and mortality in man," the authors said.

"Whereas genetic and other factors undoubtedly contribute importantly to skin cancer risk, the role of UV is incontrovertible and efforts to confuse the public, particularly for purposes of economic gain by the indoor tanning industry, should be vigorously combated for the public's health."

The authors said published data suggested that indoor tanning beds, used mostly by young women, were linked to an increased risk of melanoma.

Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, October 2008

Tags: Cancer | Dermatology

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