Warning labels on tanning beds?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking to tighten safety regulations for indoor tanning beds. The announcement comes in response to the ever-rising new cases of melanoma that are diagnosed each year. According to the FDA, ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds increases melanoma risk by 75 percent. Perhaps most alarming is that continued exposure only amplifies the risk.

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The agency is pitching to reclassify sunlamp devices so that manufacturers would be mandated to submit pre-market notification to the FDA. These new rules would essentially require companies to prove that their products meet specific testing requirements before coming to market. What’s more is that under the new proposal, manufacturers would have to implement warning labels to discourage the use of their products by people under the age of 18. An additional label advising frequent users to undergo regular skin cancer screenings would also become mandatory. These new guidelines would define sunlamp products as a “moderate risk device.” As is, they are technically considered low-risk. California and Vermont are the only states that have banned the use of tanning beds by minors. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma rates have grown by 800 percent among young women (and 400 percent among young men) over the past 40 years.

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