EC Warns Tan Lovers Against Skin Cancer

by Medindia Content Team on  July 7, 2006 at 3:06 PM Cancer News
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EC Warns Tan Lovers Against Skin Cancer
The young and fair skinned tan lovers should give second thoughts to using sun beds as they may induce the development of skin cancer, the European Commission cautioned on Thursday.

The executive arm of the European Union said that its scientific committee on consumer products has concluded that using sun beds, tanning lamps and other ultraviolet radiation devices increases the risk of a skin cancer.

European Commission spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber told the press that, "Currently, apparently, there is no limit for manufacturers producing sun beds when it comes to the maximum level of ultraviolet radiation, so basically what could happen is that you could have a product that is basically barbecuing you because there is no upper limit which controls that".

The committee found that in Britain, the people most at risk were the ones with freckles, moles, a family history of melanoma and the young, while 100 people a year are estimated to die because of sunbed use.

"Thus UVR tanning devices should not be used by individuals under the age of 18 years," the Commission warned.

EU rules require low voltage devices to be safe and the Commission will request member states and the tanning industry to ensure that there are warnings to avoid misuse.

The executive will also direct agencies that certify products to introduce ultraviolet radiation limits. The primary source of UVR exposure is the sun, but some people are substantially exposed to UV from sunbed.

UVR tanning devices were not popular before the 1990s, and it will take a few years before the role of the UVR tanning devices in causing skin cancer becomes fully apparent, says the Commission .

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Sun beds used for skin tan produces ultra-violet light for skin tanning.Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer worldwide and the cause of it is considered to be exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is more common in regions of the northern and southern parts of the world in fair skinned people. Melanin protects against the penetration of UV rays and protects against the cancer. The only proven beneficial effect in humans of UV light is Vitamin D3 production by the skin. All wavelengths of UV are hazardous and this varies according to the spectrum of the wavelength. Very little UVB is required for this purpose. The common sources of UV light includes :sunbeds that are used for cosmetic purposes for sin tanning and treating prsoariasis, disco lights, lamps that are used for sterilization, arc welding,printing and curing.


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