FDA seeks to ban indoor tanning for minors

Washington – The Food and Drug Administration has proposed two rules intended to minimize the risks of skin cancer presented by indoor tanning beds.

The first proposed rule would prohibit anyone younger than 18 from using sunlamp products, and would require adults who use tanning beds to sign a certification every six months to acknowledge they have been informed of the health risks posed by the devices.

The second proposal applies to sunlamp manufacturers and tanning facilities. It would require them to provide:

  • Easier-to-read warning labels on devices
  • Emergency shut-off switches
  • More protective eyewear

About 1.6 million minors use indoor tanning devices every year. According to FDA, indoor tanning is considered a “known contributor” to skin cancer – including melanoma, which federal statistics show killed more than 9,000 people in 2012.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement applauding FDA’s move.

“Tanning beds are dangerous and should not be used by anyone under age 18,” AAP President Dr. Sandra Hassink said in the release.

The rules were scheduled to be published Dec. 22. The public has 90 days to submit comments.