Sunday, August 23, 2009


Well now you know the rest of the story.

Tanning will kill you, smoking will kill you, over-eating will kill you, bullets will kill you, knives will kill you, drunk drivers will kill you, murderers will kill you; the list goes on.

Heck, life will kill you too, eventually.

Why make it occur sooner rather than later?

As an aside, didn't some kids get toasted in tanning beds in one of the Final Destination movies?

Tanning at salons as deadly as arsenic
- The Herald-Zeitung

International cancer experts have deemed tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas, bumping them into the top cancer risk category.

A new analysis of approximately 20 studies concluded the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30.

Tony Floyd, who owns Vanity Tan Tanning Salons, said these studies are important to inform the public.

“By law, we can’t tell you that it’s healthier or safer to tan,” Floyd said. “These studies come out every year … They’re certainly important studies. It’s important that people know these things.”

His business is upfront with its customers about any risk, he said.

“When they come in and sign up, we ask them about any background or family history of skin cancer,” he said. “We won’t let anyone tan more than once in a 24-hour period … There is a box on our computer that pops up as an overexposure warning if they try to sign up.”

For years, scientists have described tanning beds as “probable carcinogens.” The new study classifies tanning beds as a definite cause of cancer, placing them alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping.

The research was published online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology by experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization.

“People need to be reminded of the risks of sunbeds,” said Vincent Cogliano, one of the cancer researchers. “We hope the prevailing culture will change so teens don’t think they need to use sunbeds to get a tan.”

Summer is one of the peak tanning seasons, drawing in people of all ages Floyd said.

“We’re actually busier in the summer than the winter,” he said. “A lot of the people who come in are working clientele who want to get that quick tan in … I’ve got three or four people who tan here who are over 70.”

He said the tanning beds, which use ultraviolet radiation, are always regulated.

“No one is ever in the beds for more than 20 minutes at a time,” he said. “and it all depends on their skin and level of tanning.”

That statement was backed by Kathy Banks, chief executive of the Sunbed Association, a European trade association of tanning bed makers and operators.

“The fact that is continuously ignored is that there is not proven link between the responsible use of sunbeds and skin cancer,” Banks said. She said most users of tanning beds use them less than 20 times a year.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.