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The Darker Side of Tanning Public health experts and medical professionals are continuing to warn people about the dangers of ultraviolet radiation from the sun tanning beds and sun lamps Two types of ultraviolet radiation are Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B Ultraviolet B has long been associated with sunburn while Ultraviolet A has been recognized as a deeper penetrating radiation Although its been known for some time that too much Ultraviolet radiation can be harmful new information may now make these warnings even more important Some scientists have suggested recently that there may be an association between Ultraviolet A radiation and malignant melanoma the most serious type of skin cancer Ultraviolet radiation from the sun tanning beds or from sun lamps can cause skin cancer While skin cancer has been associated with severe sunburn moderate tanning may also produce the same effect Ultraviolet radiation can also have a damaging effect on the immune system and premature aging of the skin giving it a wrinkled leathery appearance Skin aging and cancer are delayed effects that dont usually show up for many years after the exposure Unfortunately since the damage is not immediately visible teenagers are often unaware of the dangers of tanning Physicians and scientists are especially concerned that cases of skin cancer will continue to increase as people who are now in their teens and twenties reach middle age People who choose to tan are greatly increasing their chance of skin cancer Experts caution people against unprotected exposure to the Sun The number of skin cancer cases has been rising over the years and experts say that this is due to increasing exposure to Ultraviolet radiation from the sun tanning beds and sun lamps More than 1 million new skin cancer cases are likely to be diagnosed in the US this year In 1999 alone skin cancer all types combined has claimed the lives of nearly 9200 people and one person dies
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