Plenty of women (and men) turn to tanning beds not only in the winter to maintain their summer tans, but also in the beginning of summer to get a “base tan.” We’ve all heard the risks associated with tanning beds, and now the FDA has changed its label of tanning beds to reflect those serious concerns.
In a final decision, the FDA has labeled sunlamp products and ultraviolet (UV) lamps used in tanning salons as moderate-risk devices. This is a change from the previous label of low-risk.
In addition to the label change, the FDA is now requiring all sun and UV lamp products to have a black box consumers can see that states the products are unsuitable for use by people under the age of 18. A black box is the strongest warning from the FDA, though it does not outlaw or restrict the products for minors.
The decision is being praised by many, including Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. He told CNN, “The FDA has taken and important step today to address the risk to public health from sunlamp products.”
“Repeated UV exposure from sunlamp products poses a risk of skin cancer for all users, but the highest risk for skin cancer is in young persons under the age of 18 and people with a family history of skin cancer.”
The FDA had previously made statements about the cancer risk associated with lamps used for indoor tanning, saying the lamps emit UV radiation that could cause skin cancer. The new label as moderate-risk and new regulations are hoped to deter people, especially those under 18, from using tanning beds.
Even if you stay away from indoor tanning lamps, remember to protect your skin as you spend time outside this summer. Sunscreen, clothing that covers you, and staying indoors during the sun’s peak hours are all great ways to make sure you and your skin stay healthy.