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Tanning Beds Raise Risk of Most Common Skin Cancer 70 Percent

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By Admin on December 15, 2011 8:48 AM

Tanning beds and skin cancer risks are widely known to be related. Now, a new study shows that tanning's cancer risk is not only tied to the deadliest type of skin cancer, but can also lead to development of the most common type: early-onset basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

Young individuals who used tanning beds had a 69% increased risk for developing BCC, according to scientists at the Yale School of Public Health.

This figure is particularly alarming because skin cancer increases in frequency as one gets older, reports MSNBC. In fact, 1/3 of the study participants that reported a case of BCC said they had an additional case before they reached the age of 40.

This is in addition to deadlier cancer risks that can arise from tanning. Individuals who use tanning beds -- regardless of how long they used it for and what type of tanning bed they used -- are 74% more likely to develop melanoma. Melanoma is one of the most serious forms of skin cancer and could be fatal.

Despite the risks, about 30 million Americans use tanning beds. There are some states that regulate tanning salons by restricting the age of potential tanners.

In California, teens under the age of 18 will soon be barred from using tanning beds. This new legislation was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown and will go into effect on January 1st. Previously, the state allowed teens between the age of 14 and 17 to tan if they received parental consent.

California's tanning bed law is one of the strictest in the nation, according to ABC News.

Though, that might change as other states are also contemplating similar bans. Considering the new study shows that tanning bed increases skin cancer risks, it seems that it's likely that more legislation will soon come down the pipeline.

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