The Skin Cancer Foundation Response to the FDA’s Proposed Order to Reclassify Tanning Beds

New York, NY (May 6, 2013) Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed order that, if finalized, would reclassify ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices as moderate risk devices (class II). The proposed order also requires warning labels on the devices and in related promotional material, alerting young people to the dangers associated with their use. 

Tanning beds are currently regulated by the FDA as class I medical devices, the same designation given elastic bandages and tongue depressors. Yet studies offer dramatic evidence that indoor tanning bed use increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Just one indoor UV tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent. Alarmingly, those who begin tanning before age 35 increase their risk by almost 75 percent. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation supports any effort to raise awareness about the hazards of tanning and applauds the FDA for taking this important step that could potentially save lives.

Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD
Senior Vice President, The Skin Cancer Foundation

Learn More about Skin Cancer and the Dangers of Tanning