To a crackly crunch

The Europeans, in an effort to sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the ol’ ultraviolets, have come out strongly against tanning beds:

For years, scientists have described tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as “probable carcinogens.”

A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75% when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic. Previously, only one type of ultraviolet radiation was thought to be lethal.

The new classification means tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are definite causes of cancer, alongside tobacco, the hepatitis B virus and chimney sweeping, among others.

Well, that does it. I’m keeping my mice out of the tanning beds and away from the chimneys. And they damned well better not be smoking, either.

(Tweeted by the forever-untanned Virginia Postrel.)

Addendum: Consumerist comments: “What can we learn from these stories? Everything is trying to give you cancer. Go to bed.”


  1. Jeff Brokaw »

    29 July 2009 · 8:02 am

    Another thing we can learn is that people who sit in human toasters take extra risks with their health. Who knew?

  2. McGehee »

    29 July 2009 · 9:48 am

    Sometimes it does seem as though the only people who know that merely living incurs daily risks, are the ones who go into personal-injury or product-liability litigation after passing the bar exam. Their lucrative careers are built directly on Mencken’s dictum about underestimating the stupidity of the American (or any other sufficiently large group of) people.

  3. Dick Stanley »

    29 July 2009 · 10:16 am

    The scientists are always after something. Postrel’s sickly complexion is nothing to envy. Life is short .

  4. fillyjonk »

    29 July 2009 · 11:21 am

    I figure by not tanning, that means I can eat pepperoni on pizza once in a while. (I suspect cured meats are the next thing they’re gonna go after…there’s already a group wanting labels comparable to cigarette warning labels on hot dog packages).

    Besides, if I try to tan, I turn into a giant mass of freckles. They’re cute when you’re ten, probably not so much when you’re 40…

  5. unimpressed »

    29 July 2009 · 11:27 am

    While I don’t go crazy about tanning, neither am I terrified of getting some sun. As I have heard said, “All things in moderation, moderation included.”

  6. fillyjonk »

    29 July 2009 · 11:29 am

    Actually, “not enough sun” is a contributing factor to low vitamin D levels in lots of people….so you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  7. Chris R »

    29 July 2009 · 1:27 pm

    “Make you ready for a bit of the ol’ ultraviolets”

    Nice bit of writing there my friend.

    Who would have guessed that cooking your skin with UV rays was bad for you?

  8. CGHill »

    29 July 2009 · 2:07 pm

    I assume everything is bad for me, and the last thing will be the one that does me in.

    Simplifies life to an amazing extent, really.

  9. Francis W. Porretto »

    29 July 2009 · 4:07 pm

    Been there, done that!

    All the anecdotal experiences available to me suggest that agonizing over what’s good for you and what isn’t will both take more years off your life than any of the more pedestrian risks, and destroy all your desire to live in the process.

    I know, some people would call that a “win-win.” But not your humble Curmudgeon.

  10. sya »

    29 July 2009 · 7:10 pm

    If I really was a microbe, the UV would cause me to spontaneously mutate.

  11. Jeffro »

    29 July 2009 · 8:04 pm

    After reading this, I’m filled with the urge to stuff mass quantities of butter saturated bacon down my gullet.

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