The nearly 3 in 10 white girls of high school age who use indoor tanning beds likely will soon come face-to-face with a new and stiffer warning aimed at young people eager to get that sun-kissed glow in a hurry: Don't.
Faced with mounting evidence that indoor tanning greatly increases cancer risk among younger users, the Food & Drug Administration proposed Monday to require tanning booths and beds to carry a warning encouraging young people not to use the devices.
Businesses that use devices and beds that use
Once finalized -- a process that could be thwarted by congressional action -- the
Compared to those who start later or do not go to tanning salons, people who begin tanning at ages younger than 35 have a 75% greater probability of developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, and of developing cancers of the eye, not to mention wrinkles and premature aging of the skin.
Despite such evidence, in 2010, 32% of non-Latina white women between the ages of 18 and 21 (and the same proportion of girls who are seniors in high school) reported they artificially tanned using UV devices. And those who report doing so said they averaged roughly 28 sessions a year.
The American Academy of
Currently, California and Vermont have laws banning tanning bed use by minors younger than 18, and 33 states have implemented lesser restrictions that include parental permission requirements for minors. Brazil has outlawed the use of tanning beds altogether, and the United Kingdom, Germany, Scotland, France and parts of Canada and Australia have made it illegal for people younger than 18 to use tanning beds.
"Using indoor tanning beds can damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg on Monday in announcing the agency's proposed new regulation. "The FDA's proposed changes will address some of the risks associated with sunlamp products and will provide consumers with clear and consistent information," she added.