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Indoor Tanning ban proposed for minors by FDA

On December 18, 2015 the FDA announced a Proposed Rule to help protect consumers against indoor tanning exposure.  Currently, 42 states have already enacted laws regarding indoor tanning bans, restrictions and consumer education regarding UV exposure from tanning beds, and the federal government is finally following suit.  The FDA has not addressed a ruling regarding on indoor tanning bed usage since 1985.

The FDA Proposed Rule on indoor tanning would address two major areas:

  • 1.   Age restriction:  the new FDA ruling if enacted would ban the use of indoor tanning lamps on minors (those less than 18 years of age).
  • 2.  Risk acknowledgement form:  the FDA would require adult consumers of tanning beds to sign a form every six months recognizing that indoor tanning beds has significant health risks including the risk of skin cancer development including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.  The form also notes risks to eye health from indoor tanning bed use including the formation of cataracts.

Indoor tanning bed use has been definitively linked to the formation of skin cancers.  Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas as well as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, have been linked to use of indoor tanning.  Tanning bed use, just once, increases an individual’s lifetime risk of developing melanoma by 59%.  Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis study found that each subsequent use of tanning beds further increases the risk of developing melanoma.

Nearly 3000 ER visits annually are the result of burns sustained by tanning beds.  It is erroneous to think there is such a thing as a “safe tan” or “base tan.”  Furthermore, indoor tanning booths are not a justified means of obtaining vitamin D through the body.  Diet and supplementation are a safe and viable means of obtaining this important vitamin.  Lastly, tanning bed use causes pronounced aging changes in the skin including destruction of collagen, premature wrinkling, and sun spots and brown discoloration.

The Proposed Rule by the FDA may be commented on by the public for 90 days beginning today, December 21, 2015.  After public commentary, the FDA will make a final ruling.  I encourage you to contact the FDA at the link below to express your opinions in banning tanning bed use on a quest to decrease the incidence of skin cancers.  Here is the link:

For more information, contact Art of Skin MD in San Diego, CA at 858.792.7546

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