How do sunbeds increase your risk of getting melanoma?
Sunbeds emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which lead to genetic defects and mutations which can cause skin cancer.
Damage from UV exposure increases your risk of skin cancer over time. Your body may repair some of this DNA damage, however, the unrepaired damage and mutations may build up over time increasing your risk of skin cancer and melanoma.
Is it certain that sunbeds are bad for you?
There is evidence that sunbeds increase the risk of melanoma. They are dangerous because:
- Many sunbeds give out greater doses of UV rays than the midday tropical sun
- Researchers have assessed the cancer risk from sunbeds as twice that of an equivalent period spent out in the tropical sun
- You cannot always see the damage UV rays cause and the symptoms of skin damage can take up to 20 years to appear
- Many sunbeds are faulty, emitting UV at levels higher than British and EU standards
It is estimated that in the UK about 100 people die each year from melanomas that are due to sunbed use