In a press release issued on December 18 it is announced that the FDA prohibits the usage of sunbeds by minors in an attempt to decrease the rates of skin cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration is committed to taking important steps for protecting the public health and preventing minors from using sunlamp products or tanning beds is a major step for reducing the risk of skin cancer, strongly associated with the use of such products.
Stephen Ostroff, an FDA Commissioner declared that young people under 18 years are at a higher risk of experiencing negative health consequences as a result of indoor tanning.
Sunlamp products are known to be a major contributor to different types of skin problems and skin cancers, including melanoma which is the type with the highest death rates. Despite that, according to the National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, about 1.6 million people under 18 use tanning beds every year.
The American Academy of Dermatology warns that people who exposed themselves to radiation produced by tanning beds are having a 59 percent increased risk of developing melanoma than those who have never used indoor tanning.
Besides that, the exposure to UV radiation early in life is also increasing the risk of developing not only skin, but also eye problems later in life.
As a result of the risk imposed over the health of individuals of all ages, the FDA issues two proposed rules. Restricting the use of sunlamp products for minors is one of them. More than that, it makes it mandatory for individuals of all ages to sign a risk acknowledgement certification before their first indoor tanning session.
The acknowledgement states that the person has been informed regarding the health risks which may result from the use of the sunlamp products. Individuals using sunbeds will have to sign the risk acknowledgement before their first tanning session and then every six months if they continue to use the indoor tanning.
According to the CDC, about 3,000 people end up in the emergency room each ear as a result of injuries related to indoor tanning.
The second proposed rule requires tanning facilities and sunlamp manufacturers to take measures for improving the safety of the tanning beds. These include making prominent warnings on the devices; adding a panic button; limiting the amount of light that would pass through protective eyewear, improving labeling on bulbs; prohibiting modifications to the devices without re-certifying at the FDA.
The new restrictions will apply to manufacturers and to the approximately 38,000 indoor tanning facilities across the U.S.
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