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Benefits of Moderate UV Sunshine Exposure

Skin cancer risk from tanning beds is miniscule. Why ‘75 percent’ Stat is Wrong

Posted by D3forU on January 8, 2011

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Internet health education web site NaturalNews.com is calling for people to re-examine the relatively small risk of melanoma, often put out of perspective by groups linked to those who profit from anti-sun messaging.

In an article titled “Skin cancer risk from tanning beds is miniscule” NaturalNews takes aim at a statistic used by anti-sun lobbying groups to allege that “use of sunbeds before the age of 35 is associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma.”

Aside from the fact that the stat has been debunked — it came from data inlcuding home tanning units and medical usage of UV-emitting devices — the number itself is grossly misleading statistic, as NaturalNews.com points out.

Simply put, it is a relative risk figure. But the absolute risk associated with that figure is still very small.

As NaturalNews wrote: “In an article for Wilmington’s News Journal, AHCJ member Hiran Ratnayake reviewed the research that led to the oft-quoted statistic of 75 percent increased risk. He found that a review of research from a number of different studies did indeed find an average 75 percent increase in those who used tanning beds. But the original risk was so low (roughly two-tenths of 1 percent) that even a 75 percent increase means a final risk still well under 1 percent.”

Again, that figure includes medical usage of UV equipment and usage of home tanning units. Commercial units worldwide made up only a 6 percent risk increase, including European usage of those with skin type I.

To read the NaturalNews article click here.

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