Tanning salon owners react to cancer research - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tanning salon owners react to cancer research


by John Wilmer

EVANSDALE (KWWL) -- An international team of cancer experts has announced that tanning beds are a significant carcinogen.

The world health organization's international agency for research made the warning. It moved UV tanning beds to it's highest cancer risk category, along with cigarettes and asbestos.

The latest research appears in the medical journal Lancet. Doctors studied the effects on people under the age of 30. They found that there is a 75 percent increase for skin tumors if tanning devices are used by people in that age group.

Christina Yacout opened Sunset Tanning and Salon in Evansdale in April, coming from California she wanted to help Iowan's get that west coast glow.  She says tanning is still safe if done in moderation.

"We recommend they take a day between or tan one day and take two days off, kind of get into a regime like that so they're not doing it every day," Yacout said.

Doctors disagree saying that UV radiation can be very harmful.

"The data's been clear for years that what tanning beds emit, which is mostly UVA, is actually carcinogenic," Dermatologist, Eric Finzi said.

"I was checked or screened in February and they found a melanoma on my leg, very common in women, lower legs and it was removed. It was cancerous," said cancer survivor Angela Davis.

Davis is one of around one million people who are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. She will now avoid tanning beds.

As for the sun and tanning outside, doctors say that is all right in small amounts.

"It's far safer to have just very moderate amounts of real sunshine," said Dr. Finzi.

Yacout says it's up to each person to make that decision.

"Just like being out in the sun I feel each has their own measures of what's good and what's bad. I think if you follow the recommendations of the state and the tanning bed and stuff like that I think it can be done safely," said Yacout.

According to research, those who are considered most at risk are young people who started using tanning beds at an early age. 

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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