FDA Wants to Keep Kids Off Tanning Beds

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RIVERSIDE, CA - APRIL 10: Professional BMX rider Cory Nastazio goes to the tanning salon in Riverside, California on April 10, 2002. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Photograph by Donald Miralle—Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on artificial rays.

The agency proposed two new rules Friday to regulate indoor tanning, citing an American Academy of Dermatology statistic that says people who tan indoors are 59% more likely to develop melanoma.

The proposed rules include a ban on the use of sunlamps among minors under 18. Adults who choose to tan indoors would be required to sign a “risk acknowledgement certification.” The FDA also proposed making sunlamps safer by including an emergency off button, raising eye protection standards, making warning labels more prominent, improving replacement bulb instructions to be clearer, and banning dangerous modifications of sunlamps.

“Today’s action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms,” acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff said in a press release. “The FDA understands that some adults may decide to continue to use sunlamp products. These proposed rules are meant to help adults make their decisions based on truthful information and to ensure manufacturers and tanning facilities take additional steps to improve the safety of these devices.”

The FDA’s newest action is one more link in a chain of increased regulation on products that are linked to skin cancer. Last year, the FDA upped the “low risk” designation on sunlamps to “moderate risk” and required labeling on the lamps advising minors to steer clear of them, according to the Washington Post.

The proposed rules will enter a 90-day comment period before going into effect.


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