July 29, 2009 --
A new study shows a stronger link between skin cancer and tanning beds.
International cancer experts now say tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are in the top cancer risk category...deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas.
The study from the World Health Organization reveals the risk of cancer jumps 75 % when people start using tanning beds before the age of 30.
Dr. Traci Buxton, with St. Bernards First Care, says ultraviolet rays from tanning beds have been known to be dangerous for awhile now.
"We knew it was a probable carcinogen or a cancer causing agent, but now we know for sure that it is definitely a severe cancer causing agent. You know when you compare arsenic to tanning, that's a deadly poison, and if you think of tanning as a deadly poison, hopefully that will really get the message across."
She's hoping with this information, more teenagers will choose alternative tanning methods.
"The glossy ads with models and skimpy bikinis and their bronze bodies and they look great... And you can look like that too if you go use a spray tan or you use a spray tanner, but don't do it by going to the tanning beds."
She says at a young age, you're not thinking about 20 or 30 years down the road and what your skin will look like then.
"You want the short term gain, but you forget about the long term costs, I think. Skin cancer is not attractive, it's never attractive, I would really discourage it at all costs."