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Indoor Tanning Beds to Get Stronger Skin Cancer Warnings, FDA Says

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Washington, DCThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it is proposing changes to sunlamp regulations, which would include sunbeds or tanning beds, in an effort to reduce the public risk for skin cancer, skin damage and eye injuries related to the use of these devices.

The proposed new regulations would enhance oversight of ultraviolet (UV) tanning lamps and require labeling to include a recommendation designed to warn young people under the age of 18 not to use these devices, according to an article posted on the FDA website (fda.gov).

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people who use indoor tanning devices are 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors, and the risk increases with use. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and accounted for 75,000 cases of skin cancer in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society.

The FDA regulates sunlamp products (including tanning beds and booths) both as medical devices and radiation-emitting products. Manufacturers of sunlamps must comply with FDA regulations regarding these devices.

Based on new risk information and recommendations from experts at an earlier FDA Medical Device Advisory Committee meeting, the agency is proposing to reclassify sunlamp products from Class I to Class II, which would indicate a moderate risk to users. Furthermore, the FDA can exert more regulatory control over Class II devices, notes FDA medical device expert Neil Ogden.

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