Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2013
WASHINGTON, DC — The Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules for tanning machines or “beds” that would require manufacturers to attach cancer warning labels and to urge people under 18 not to use them. Tanning bed makers would also have to apply to the FDA for approval of their devices prior to sale.
High-powered tanning bed lamps expose people to 10 times as much ultraviolet radiation as the sun, says Jeff Shuren, director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Just one session in a tanning booth increases the risk of melanoma by 74 percent, Shuren said. The World Health Organization classifies ultraviolet light as a carcinogen in the same category as cigarette smoke.
“The science is clear,” says Dr. Mary Maloney, VP of regulatory policy at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), who spoke to the New York Times. “The risk of developing melanoma increases 75 percent for individuals who’ve been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning,” Maloney said. “Using indoor tanning beds can damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in May this year.
According to the AAD, of the 28 million who use tanning beds in the US every year, about 2.3 million are teenagers. California and Vermont prohibit minors from using them, as do the cities of Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. The states of New York and New Jersey ban children under 17. — New York Times, May 7; Washington Post, & USA Today, May 6, 2013