Striving for Stricter Restrictions on Indoor Tanning

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The FDA has finally strengthened restrictions on indoor tanning devices.   After years of fighting for stricter regulations on indoor tanning, the American Academy of Dermatology and it’s physician members are pleased that the US food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized stricter regulations on indoor tanning devices, a move that will ultimately save lives.  The new restrictions include:

  • A strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.
  • The reclassification for sunlamps and tanning beds to a Class II level.
  • Labeling that clearly communicates the risk of skin cancer to all users. Under the final changes, manufacturers will be required to provide updated labeling for all products on the market within 450 days of June 2, 2014.

These regulations are essential to ensuring greater safety for the American public. Prior to the FDA’s final order, indoor tanning devices were categorized as Class I — the category for items that have minimal potential to cause harm to individuals, such as adhesive bandages and tongue depressors. The reclassification of indoor tanning devices to a Class Level II will help to reduce the incidence of skin cancer and the AADA is pleased that the FDA has taken this important first step.

Leading up to this decision, the FDA convened an Advisory Panel hearing in 2010, to examine the classification and regulations of tanning beds. AADA representatives, leading dermatologists, researchers and patients testified about the risks associated with indoor tanning and the need to protect the public from these dangers.

It is important to note that the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified UV radiation from tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans, in the same category as tobacco and tobacco smoking. A review of seven studies found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who had been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning before the age of 35. Other adverse effects due to indoor tanning include burns, premature aging of the skin, infection, and exacerbation of certain serious light sensitive conditions including lupus.

Dr. Rosalyn George remarks, “Dermatologists across the country have been working diligently to get tanning beds re-classified and this is an important first step to decreasing skin cancers in this country. We are still working to ensure that children under 18 are not allowed access to tanning beds since this is when tanning is the most dangerous.”

 

Sources:“Years Of Advocacy Pay Off – FDA Strengthens Restrictions On Indoor Tanning Devices,” American Academy of Dermatology, May 29, 2014, http://www.aad.org/members/practice-and-advocacy-resource-center/patient-health-advocacy/skin-cancer/indoor-tanning-device-reclassification

Position Statement On Indoor Tanning,” American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org/Forms/Policies/Uploads/PS/PS-Indoor%20Tanning%2011-16-09.pdf

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