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No tan is safe


There is no such thing as a safe tan, U.S. and British researchers reported this week.

19 September, 2008 – 14:21

The signals in the cells that induce sun tanning appear to be DNA damage, according to researchers at St. George’s, University of London. DNA damage is the first step in getting a mutation in cells that could lead to cancer, meaning that no tan is safe.

The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 60,000 people each year die from too much ultraviolet light, mostly from malignant melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Another problem is that while genetic and other factors also contribute to skin cancer risk, mixed messages about the safety of ultraviolet light confuses the public. Getting some sunshine is important because ultraviolet light spurs the body to produce vitamin D. But people need far less ultraviolet exposure for this than it takes to tan.


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