Monday, August 3, 2009

Tanning: As deadly as Arsenic and Mustard Gas

Along with the undesirability of looking like some alien out of Men in Black, "bronzing" at a tanning booth is also deadly. In my opinion, anyone with even a shred of brain matter knows tanning yourself 4 shades darker in under ten minutes is probably not good for you, but this new statement from the World Health Organization is pretty shocking.
International experts have moved tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer-risk category, calling them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. Arsenic is a poisonous metalloid that can cause total organ failure and severe hemorrhaging. But mustard gas?! Mustard gas was the experimental chemical weapon used in WWI that caused unspeakable horrors. If you are really interested, here are some pictures and accounts of mustard gas poisoning. As a fair warning, they're pretty disgusting.

For years, scientists deemed both "probable carcinogens." But a new analysis by World Health Organization cancer experts of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. The experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. The new classification means tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.

"We hope the prevailing culture will change so teens don't think they need to use sunbeds to get a tan," said researcher Vincent Cogliano who contributed to the study, published this week online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology.

Read more about it HERE

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