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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Tanning Beds as Damaging to Skin as Sunlight, Researchers Report

April 24, 1997|From Times staff and wire reports

Half an hour on a sun bed can bombard tan-seekers with as much damaging ultraviolet A radiation as a day at the beach, cancer researchers said Thursday. Such tanning not only ages the skin, but also can cause damage that leads to skin cancer, Britain's Imperial Cancer Research Fund said in a statement accompanying new guidelines on sun beds.

Sun beds emit mostly ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) that doctors thought was safer than the UVB normally associated with sunburns and skin cancer. But they now have determined that it can damage the middle layer of skin, elastin and collagen--which leads to wrinkles and sagging.

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