FDA Warns of Tanning Bed Dangers

Published on May 29, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a final order today, reclassifying ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices from class I (low to moderate risk) to class II (moderate to high risk) devices. In addition, the FDA will require warning labels on these tanning devices, noting that they should not be used on persons under the age of 18. Today’s order follows upon a March 2013 proposed order to reclassify ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices from class I medical devices (the same designation given to elastic bandages and tongue depressors) to class II devices.

Studies offer alarming evidence that indoor tanning bed use increases the risk of melanoma. 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. Even more alarming, 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 indoor tanning and applauds the FDA for taking this major step in skin cancer prevention.