The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now classified tanning beds and UV radiation in the highest cancer-risk category; as dangerous as arsenic and mustard gas.

The IARC had previously classified tanning beds as “probably carcinogenic to humans” but the findings, published in the August edition of The Lancet Oncology, have proved otherwise.

According to the report, the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent – especially when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Additionally, several studies provide consistent evidence of an association between the use of tanning beds and eye cancer, said the authors.

While previously only one type of ultraviolet radiation was thought to be dangerous, researchers also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused mutations in mice.

International cancer agencies urge people to use self-tanning creams instead of sun beds or tanning in the sun.

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