FDA Could Make Tanning Beds Have Labels Discouraging Teen Use
The Food and Drug Administration is proposing new regulations for tanning beds, and it may affect whether young people have access to them at all. NY1's Health reporter Erin Billups filed the following report.
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The Food and Drug Administration is looking to deter young people from using tanning beds, with new rules that would reclassify sunlamp products from low risk devices to moderate risk.
"When it comes to tanning, people are educated, but what they know is different than what they're doing, which is why this proposal is just a first step," says Dr. Joshua Zeicher, a dermatologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
The proposal would require that sun products pass the FDA's pre-market review and have clear labels warning of the consequences of tanning, advising those 18 and younger not to use the devices.
The American Academy of Dermatology says of the 28 million people that tan indoors annually, 2.3 million are teens.
"The majority of damage we do to our skin we do when we're young; even younger than 18 years old. Hindsight is 20/20," Zeicher says.
That is why the dermatologist says an outright ban, restricting young people from using tanning beds, is necessary and could be the direction the FDA is moving in with this proposal.
"The problem really is that younger people are going to the tanning booth at all. Whether you're going one or going three times a week, all of that increases your risk for skin cancer," says Zeicher.
The AAD says there is a 75-percent increase in the risk of melanoma for those exposed to the UV radiation from indoor tanning.
But already there is already some push back to the FDA's proposal. In a statement, the Indoor Tanning Association says that while they embrace changes that lead to a better understanding of the risks, they are "concerned that the proposed requirements will burden our members with additional unnecessary governmental costs in an already difficult economic climate."
The organization also suggests that the FDA is making the case for the reclassification of tanning beds based on faulty studies.
There will be a 90-day comment period before the FDA issues the final order.