A major European study recently combined the results of 27 other studies over the last 30 years in Europe looking at the relationship between tanning and melanoma.
They confirmed several things that we suspected were true:
- Any use of indoor tanning is associated with a 20% higher risk of melanoma
- Tanning before the age of 35 doubles that risk
But, they also found some very interesting new facts:
- Each exposure to a tanning bed is associated with a 1.8% increased risk of melanoma.
- The risk of melanoma continues to rise, particularly among young women
- About 500 people in the European Community countries where the study was done die from a tanning bed associated melanoma each year.
Nevertheless, efforts to regulate tanning beds are met by stiff resistance. The industry fails to regulate itself, as made clear by the recent Congressional examination of tanning salons. As if there are any regulations that can make a carcinogen safe!
Despite yet another study condemning tanning, I guarantee that you will hear or read something in the next week that promises that tanning bed usage is safe and is healthy. Based on data from this study, 77 Americans will develop melanoma from a tanning bed during that time, and 8 of them will die.