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Sunbeds Even More Harmful than Previously Thought

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Sunbeds could be more deadly than previously feared according to new research.

Before now, UVA rays emitted by sunbeds were known to cause signs of ageing such as wrinkles, however, new evidence suggests that they are in fact a cause of cancer.

After looking into the effects of both ultraviolet rays A (UVA) and B (UVB), Anthony Young, researcher at King’s College London and an expert at looking into the effects of the sun on skin, explained that despite tanning salons claiming UVA rays to be safe, this information is ‘nonsense.’

The study involved shining UV lights onto the skin of 12 young people before checking them for signs of damage that could lead to cancer.

Young found that UVB lights caused most damage to the top layer of skin of which the most outward cells are replaced naturally every 4 weeks anyway.

In contrast, UVA lights tended to damage skin on a deeper level. As deeper cells divide and grow rapidly, the risk of cancer developing is higher.

The researcher went on to advise that morning and evening sunlight can be just as damaging to skin as the midday sun as it still carries harmful rays. Motorists are also advised to cover up as UVA rays can still cause damage through glass.

Commenting on the research, an Australian expert in health and the sun, Professor Michael Kimlin stated, “What the researchers are saying is that we may have been looking at the wrong wavelength of light for years. People have been focusing attention at UVB,” but, “UVA might actually contribute to skin cancer and you don’t have to burn to be at risk.”

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