The U.S. Food and Drug Administration acts to ban the use of tanning beds for underage people (younger than 18), and also proposes preventive measures to lower the risks of tanning beds for adults.
Tanning beds can lead to skin cancer later in life, such as melanoma for which the primary cause is ultraviolet light (UV) exposure.
Previous studies conducted in Europe found that tanning bed radiation is fifteen percent higher than the radiation from the sun at noon time.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is especially harmful for younger people to use tanning beds. Exposure to UV radiation in children and young adults can cause a lot more eye and skin damage in the long-run, since radiation exposure adds up over time.
A study conducted in 2014 stated that people who use tanning devices before they turn 20 are two times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC) by the age 50 – which is a form of skin cancer and one of the most common cancers in the United States – compared with those who had never used indoor tanning devices.
The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that 1.6 million minors in the United States use indoor tanning devices annually.
Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the Food and Drug Administration’s acting commissioner of food and drugs, said that young people need to be protected from tanning beds, which are known to cause skin cancer, as well as other harms.
The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the proposal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tanning beds are dangerous for everyone (especially for younger people) and no one under the age of 18 should use them, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated. The academy will continue to urge young people to avoid indoor tanning devices and protect their skin from UV radiation.
The FDA also suggested that people should sign a risk acknowledgement certification before they first use the tanning bed and every six months from that day forward.
A second rule proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires tanning facilities and manufacturers to improve the safety of the tanning devices. Some measures include: emergency off switch, warning made more visible on the devices, better eye safety equipment, and so on.
On December 21 the rules will be made available for the public for a total of 90 days.
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