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FDA proposes ban on use of tanning beds for anyone under 18

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Friday new steps to ban the use of tanning beds by minors and reducing the risk of using these devices for adults.

The FDA is proposing a rule that would restrict use of sunlamp products to people over 18. Also, “before their first tanning session and every six months thereafter, adult users over age 18 would have to sign a risk acknowledgement certification that states that they have been informed of the risks to health that may result from use of sunlamp products.”

The second proposed rule would require sunlamp manufacturers and tanning facilities to make warnings easier to read, require an emergency shut off button, and improve eye safety requirements.

“Today’s action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms,” acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D. said in a news release. “Individuals under 18 years are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.”

Indoor tanning is a known contributor to skin cancer, yet 1.6 million minors used indoor tanning devices in 2013.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those who have been exposed to radiation from indoor tanning are 59 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.

“The FDA understands that some adults may decide to continue to use sunlamp products,” continued acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D. “These proposed rules are meant to help adults make their decisions based on truthful information and to ensure manufacturers and tanning facilities take additional steps to improve the safety of these devices.”

There are approximately 18,000 to 19,000 indoor tanning salons and 15,000 to 20,000 other facilities, according to the FDA.