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. For more information on skin cancer and the dangers of tanning, visit

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


Carla Barry-Austin (212-725-5641;
Becky Wiley (646-583-7988;

About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade, covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit