FDA pushes for new restrictions on tanning beds


Do you know the dangers that come with indoor tanning? The Food and Drug Administration wants to make sure you do so it’s pushing for new restrictions on tanning beds.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, millions of Americans tan indoors every year and the federal government wants to make sure people know the risks involved.

A tanning bed is classified as a low risk a medical device which is the same category as elastic bandages, but a new FDA proposal would change that.

The newest proposal would force tanning bed manufacturers to prove their sun lamp products meet certain safety requirements.

The FDA also wants new labels on tanning beds to warn people who use them to be regularly screened for skin cancer.

In a statement FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said "using indoor tanning beds can damage skin and increase your risk of developing cancer."

A local skin care doctor agrees.

“I think some of the regulations are good. They really raise public awareness. I think labeling is important. It's a well known fact that increased UVA light exposure leads to increased rates of skin cancer,” said Milan R. Shah, M.D., Inc. with Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center.

23ABC also reached out to The Skin Cancer Foundation who said "just one indoor UV tanning session increases users' chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent. Alarmingly, those who begin tanning before age 35 increase their risk by almost 75 percent."

And with summer right around the corner doctors say it’s important to stay protected.

"Using a broad based sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection of 30 or 35 is highly recommended. It should protect you from burns and from a higher rate of skin cancer."

23ABC did reach out to several tanning salons in Kern County about the new proposed regulations, but they did not wish to comment.

In the next three months the FDA plans to review public comment.

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