Risk of Skin Cancer from Indoor Tanning Has FDA Reclassifying Products and Mandating New Labels


Indoor tanning poses skin cancer risks. The FDA has issued a final order reclassifying indoor tanning beds, tanning booths and other sunlamp products and UV lamps. Products are also required to have black-box warning label ...

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From tanning beds, tanning booths to other sunlamp products and ultra violet (UV) lamps, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Thursday that it is reclassifying the use of these products and devices from low-risk to moderate-risk. Sunlamp products are also now going to be required to carry a visible black-box warning that the product should not be used on persons under the age of 18 years.

The emission of UV radiation from tanning beds and tanning booths may cause cancer. There is a 59 percent increase risk of getting melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

“Repeated UV exposure from sunlamp products poses a risk of skin cancer for all users – but the highest risk for skin cancer is in young persons under the age of 18 and people with a family history of skin cancer,” according to Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Some sunlamp products and UV lamps will now also need to carry the additional warning and contraindications: “Persons repeatedly exposed to UV radiation should be regularly evaluated for skin cancer.”

New tanning equipment must have the appropriate labels on it in 90 days and existing equipment by late next year.

In May 2013, the FDA issued similar guidelines as a draft rule, but now it’s officially final.

The government has been monitoring these products and devices for 30 years and there is clearly an increased rate of melanoma between those ages 15 and 29 and the use of it.

While the final rule advises those young from using tanning equipment, it does not prohibit tanning salons from serving those under age 18. It allows parents to make the decision for their children.

Pressure has been placed on states and Congress to take steps for such a ban though. The FDA also noted that action of that type is something it is “willing to consider,” said Nancy Stade, deputy director for policy at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the FDA, in reporting from CNN. “But this is not what we are addressing today.”

[Source: FDA; CNN.]

Photo by Evil Erin, via Wikimedia Commons.