Feds May Issue Warning To Protect Children From Tanning Beds

  • 05/07/2013
  • Terelle Jerricks

Silver Spring, MD – The FDA issued a proposed order May 6, that, if finalized, would reclassify sunlamp products such as those used in tanning beds and require labeling to include a recommendation designed to warn young people not to use these devices.

On Jan. 1, 2012, California enacted the strictest ban in the country when it declared that anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from using tanning beds.

There is no word on when the FDA’s proposal would go into effect, if it’s ultimately approved, but those interested in commenting can do so by calling 888-INFO-FDA.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is a 75-percent increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, in those who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use. The proposed order does not prohibit the use of sunlamp products by those under the age of 18, but it provides a warning on the consequences.

The order would reclassify sunlamp products from a low risk device (class I) to a moderate risk device (class II).

If the order is finalized, manufacturers would have to show that their products have met certain performance testing requirements, address certain product design characteristics and provide comprehensive labeling that presents consumers with clear information on the risks of use. The order proposes to include a warning against use on people under 18, and the labeling would have to include language that frequent users of sunlamp products should be regularly screened for skin cancer.

The next step would be for another arm of the federal government, the Federal Trade Commission, to order a ‘shell’ group to halt its false statements on the dangers of indoor tanning.

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