Making a Difference in Cancer Prevention and Control
“Artificial tanning devices: Public health interventions to manage sunbeds"
The World Health Organization published a report entitled “Artificial tanning devices: Public health interventions to manage sunbeds" which was released on Wednesday 21 June 2017.
It is also available on the WHO website www.who.int/uv together with a set of infographics.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among light-skinned populations. The chief environmental cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation (UVR). UVR exposure comes mainly from the sun, but over the past three decades there has been an increase in the use of artificial sources of UVR in the form of artificial tanning devices, such as sunbeds, stand up booths and facial tanners. This deliberate exposure to UVR for cosmetic purposes is increasing the incidence of the major types of skin cancer, and driving down the age of first appearance.
WHO underscores national actions to limit the use of artificial tanning devices (sunbeds) in a bid to reduce the associated health risks, such as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
For more than three decades, the deliberate sunbed exposure to ultraviolent radiation (UVR) for cosmetic purposes has been driving up the incidence of skin cancers and driving down the age of their first appearance, according to a new WHO report “Artificial tanning devices: public health interventions to manage sunbeds.”
Sunbed use has been estimated to be responsible for more than 450 000 non-melanoma skin cancer cases and more than 10 000 melanoma cases each year in the United States of America, Europe and Australia combined. The largest portion of users are women, and in particular adolescents and young adults.
“There’s no doubt about it: sunbeds are dangerous to our health,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “Countries need to consider whether to ban or restrict their use, and to inform all users about the health risks.”