The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
The biggest study ever done on tanning beds and melanoma finds that indoor tanning can raise the risk of that cancer roughly two to four times.
Scientists have long known that heavy exposure to ultraviolet rays, including sunburns and heavy tanning, can cause skin cancer. That link is one reason tanning businesses were taxed in the recent health reform law, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may beef up warnings and ban teens from using tanning beds.
But doctors are still trying to figure out just how risky indoor tanning is. After studying more than 2,200 tanners and their pale peers, scientists report that regular indoor tanning raised a person's risk of melanoma -- the deadliest skin cancer -- between 74 percent and 340 percent. People who tanned longer had higher risk, as did people who tanned in beds that mostly use UVA radiation, not a related kind known as UVB.
"Too many teenagers tend to live a life ignorant of risk," said researcher Electra Paskett. "We need to encourage a shift in social norms about tanning similar to what was done with smoking because the risk is that high." Read more here