News & Press

MRF Statement – IARC Announcement

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2009


Contact:         Deborah J. Danuser

                        Jones Public Affairs

                        (202) 742-5256

                        [email protected]


Melanoma Research Foundation Applauds Ranking of

Tanning Booths as the Highest Cancer Risk

-A statement from the Melanoma Research Foundation-


HILLSBOROUGH, N.J.—The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States, released the following statement regarding the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decision to place tanning beds and all types of ultraviolet radiation (UV) in the highest cancer risk category.


The Melanoma Research Foundation applauds the IARC’s reclassification of all types of UV radiation and UV-emitting tanning devices from “probable carcinogens” to “carcinogenic to humans.”  This places tanning beds in the same category as asbestos, arsenic and tobacco products.  Contrary to the tanning industry’s claims, there is clear link between all forms of skin cancer and exposure to UV rays from natural or artificial sources (such as tanning beds).


Today’s announcement reiterates there are clear, evidence-based data demonstrating harmful effects of UVA and UVB radiation, including its carcinogenic effects on DNA.  The use of indoor tanning devices (outside of medical practice) represents one of the most striking examples of an avoidable cause of lethal cancer in humans.


As an organization, we are dedicated to raising awareness of this deadly disease and teaching people how to reduce their risk of developing melanoma.  Unfortunately, many people still equate being tan with being beautiful or have the attitude that they are immune to the dangers of tanning.  But the truth is that every 8 minutes, an American is diagnosed with melanoma and every hour a family is shattered when this terrible disease claims a life of someone’s son or daughter.


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