FDA adds stricter warnings to tanning bed lamps

The Prevent Cancer Foundation is pleased that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reclassified ultraviolet (UV) tanning lamps from class I (general controls) to class II (special controls) which will carry stricter regulations. Previously, tanning beds were regulated as “low-risk” devices. They will now carry a black box (which is the FDA’s strongest warning) that inform consumers of the risks of indoor tanning. These warnings will alert frequent users that they should regularly be screened for skin cancer and will advise that the lamps should not be used on minors under 18.

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The FDA acknowledges that indoor tanning lamps emit UV radiation that can cause skin cancer. Did you know that:

  • More than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in over 2.2 million people each year.
  • 140,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the U.S. this year and approximately 9,710 people will die from the disease.
  • On average, two million Americans tan indoors every day, and over 30 million each year.
  • More than 2.3 million teens tan indoor each year.
  • Indoor tanning increases the chance of developing melanoma by 59 percent and the use of tanning beds before the age of 35 increases the lifetime risk of melanoma by 75 percent.

This decision by the FDA is an important first step in the right direction. Although it does not outlaw tanning bed use for minors, it does send a strong message to teens and adults alike who are making the decision to tan indoors. The Prevent Cancer Foundation is proud to support this decision as well as push for various pieces of state-level legislation that would completely block minors from utilizing indoor tanning beds. Learn more and become a cancer prevention advocate today.