The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed steps to prevent the use of sunlamp products by minors and to reduce the risk of these devices for adults. 

Use of sunlamp products, commonly known as indoor tanning beds, is a contributor to skin cancer and other skin damage, including melanoma. Data from the American Academy of Dermatology shows a 59% increased risk of developing melanoma for those who have been exposed to radiation from indoor tanning.

RELATED: Melanoma Rates on the Rise for U.S. Youth

As a result, the FDA is proposing 2 rules. The first rule would restrict the use of sunlamp products to those aged ≥18 years. Also, adults aged >18 years would have to sign a risk acknowledgement certification prior to their first tanning session, and every 6 months thereafter. The certification would state the individual has been informed of the health risks that may result from use of sunlamp products. 

The second proposed rule would require sunlamp manufacturers and tanning facilities to take additional measures to improve overall safety. Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Making warnings easier to read and more prominent on the device
  • Requiring an emergency shut off switch, or “panic button”
  • Improving eye safety by adding requirements that would limit the amount of light allowed through protective eyewear
  • Improving labeling on replacement bulbs so tanning facility operators can make sure they are using the proper replacement bulbs, reducing the risk of accidental burns; and
  • Prohibiting dangerous device modifications, like installing stronger bulbs, without re-certifying and re-identifying the device with the FDA

These rules would affect manufacturers and tanning facility operators. Further guidance and information for those active in the industry is provided in the proposed rules. These are available online for public comment for 90 days.

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