Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Risks of tanning

A new study indicates that lying in a tanning bed carries the same cancer risk as smoking cigarettes or breathing asbestos.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had previously classified sunbeds as being a "probable" cause of cancer.

However, the agency is now recommending that tanning machines should be moved to "the highest cancer risk category" and be labeled as "carcinogenic to humans".

It followed a review of research which concluded that the risk of melanoma -- the most deadly form of skin cancer -- was increased by 75 per cent in people who started using sunbeds regularly before the age of 30.

The IARC also says there is evidence of a link between eye cancer and the use of sunbeds.
Given the current policy trend of taxing harmful activities to both promote better health and raise revenues, legislators should immediately consider a special tax on tanning beds.

Once that is done, they can also consider taxes on skimpy swim suits and on the sun.