Tanning beds move to top cancer risk category

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A newly released report is raising a red flag about the safety of tanning beds. The world health organization's cancer research agency - says these devices undoubtedly are linked to cancer.

For some catching a little bit of sun and relaxation means coming "indoors"...

"You're back there and the music is playing and its quiet and it's warm. It's the best 20 minutes of the day, it's great," said Patricia Cave.

And so for Patricia a newly released report linking tanning beds to cancer isn't enough to change her habits. She says she's been tanning 3-4 times a week, for the several years.

"I heard it all, it's a personal thing. You make a decision and the risk and everything. There are other worse things to worry about," said Patricia.

Some salon owners agreed, saying everything in moderation. A scary concept for the American Cancer Society who says the report supports everything it's been saying for years - that tanning, whether under the natural sun or under the fake rays of ultraviolet light, is dangerous.

"There is no safe exposure to UV-A, UV-B light and to avoid tanning beds altogether," said Domenick Casuccio, American Cancer Society spokesperson.

And now health experts have officially moved tanning beds into the top cancer-risk category deeming it as deadly as cigarettes and the Hepatitis B virus. It goes on to say that the risk of skin cancer jumps significantly - 75 percent - for those who use tanning devices before the age of 30.

Something Domenick Casuccio says he knows all too well. He was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 20 and says tanning beds were the cause.

"It's not worth the risk; I wish every single day that I'm going to the dermatologist, and having a mole removed. Melanoma is very aggressive, most aggressive cancer you can get, it's not something to toy with," he said.

For more information on all of this, we've created a link to the American Cancer Society's webpage. Just click here.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.