FDA Considers Tightening Restrictions On Tanning Beds
The Food and Drug Administration may tighten restrictions on tanning beds "amid evidence they raise the risk of skin cancer beyond exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun," The Wall Street Journal reports.
"Because tanning beds aren't considered medical devices, the FDA can only regulate the emissions from the lamps used in the beds. However, the agency is considering reclassifying the lamps, which would require tanning-bed makers to seek FDA approval of the beds before they are put on the market. Another option on the table is restricting use of the tanning beds to adults or to require parental consent. At a minimum, the FDA is moving forward with clearer labeling on the devices that would clearly state that ultraviolet radiation causes skin cancer" (Dooren, 3/25).
The Associated Press/The Seattle Times: The recommendations came from a "panel of advisers" to the FDA. "The FDA has regulated sunlamps for more than 20 years, but a recent report by the World Health Organization tied the devices to skin cancer, prompting a call for tougher rules. The WHO analysis showed that the deadliest form of skin cancer increases 75 percent in people who use tanning beds in their teens and 20s. Between 40 and 60 percent of teenage girls surveyed went artificial tanning in the prior year, despite awareness of cancer risks, according to studies cited by the FDA" (Perrone, 3/25).