Young people who use sunbeds almost double their risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, warn researchers.
The risk rises by 20 per cent for people using a sunbed at any stage in their lives, according to new estimates.
As a result, tanning devices could be responsible for triggering malignant melanoma in more than 400 Britons each year - with 100 dying from the disease.
Warning: Young people who use sunbeds almost double their risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, researchers say
A stark warning from European specialists about the perils of sunbed use comes after figures showed the number of over 50s suffering melanoma has tripled in 30 years.
Experts blame the rise of tanning salons and cheap holidays to the sun which boomed in the 1970s.
The latest study, published in the British Medical Journal, says the toll from sunbed use is likely to increase as cancer takes several years to develop and young people fail to heed health warnings.
Dr Mathieu Boniol, of the International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France, who led the study, said 'tougher actions' were needed to get the message across.
He said 'The burden of cancer attributable to sunbed use could further increase in the next 20 years because the recent, high usage levels observed in many countries have not yet achieved their full carcinogenic effects and because usage levels of teenagers and young adults remain high in many countries.'
Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, with almost 13,000 Britons diagnosed in 2010.
Tragically, it is the fastest growing cancer in young people and the most common cancer in women in their 20s.
Melanoma, which is linked to sun damage, is treatable if caught early but patients who develop metastatic disease - where the cancer has spread - are rarely cured with chemotherapy.
Just five per cent are still alive five years after diagnosis, with around 2,000 people dying each year
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