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American Academy of Dermatology Commends Reclassification of Tanning Beds as Carcinogenic
Date:7/29/2009

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) commends the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) for its re-categorization of indoor tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans. This classification places indoor tanning in the highest cancer risk category afforded by this international agency, which is a division of the World Health Organization (WHO).

"The American Academy of Dermatology applauds the IARC and the World Health Organization for confirming what the Academy has known for many years - that ultraviolet light is the primary cause of skin cancer and avoiding excessive exposure to the sun and other forms of ultraviolet radiation, such as indoor tanning, is the solution," said dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The review concluded that the risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age. This high-risk tanning behavior, seen primarily in females, could explain the increasing melanoma rates for females 15-29 years old. Since 1992, melanoma has increased 3.1 percent annually in male and female Caucasians, but in recent years it is increasing more rapidly in young Caucasian women (3.8 percent since 1995).

"Indoor tanning is particularly troubling because it is unnecessary and is practiced mainly for cosmetic reasons. Individuals, particularly young people, who utilize tanning beds are intentionally putting their health at risk," stated Dr. Pariser. "We hope that this new classification will persuade individuals to stop using or avoid indoor tanning all together."

This year, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States -- exceeding the incidence of all other cancers combined. It is estimated that ther
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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