Tanning Beds and Their Safety Under Scrutiny By FDA

Tanning BedsIn the past few days, the safety of tanning beds is being significantly questioned by the FDA. Their concerns are so emphatic that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is opting for stricter regulations on tanning bed salons, and manufacturers of tanning beds. The FDA cites that tanning beds can malfunction and cause tanners to be exposed to harmful amounts of radiation.

The FDA’s director, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren made this statement in lieu of recent actions being taken to ensure the safety of individuals who use tanning beds:

“We’re not trying to burden tanning salons. But there are really concerning studies of adolescents being burned from excess UV radiation from indoor tanning.”

As of now, tanning beds are termed as peices of medical equipment associated with little risks- and have not thus far been reviewed or questioned by the FDA. However, with new questions being raised over the safety of tanning beds- the FDA has proposed that tanning beds manufacturers and salons to provide proof that all beds are up to par standards including: Sunlamps, software, and other measures that will ensure the safety of those who use the devices.

Shuren furthered his previous statements with:

“This is just basic smart testing that (indoor tanning) companies should be doing already but aren’t. And if they are doing it now, they are not doing it well enough.”

Upon the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstrations announcement’s on the topic The Indoor Tanning Association replied with this:

“The ITA represents reputable small businesses throughout the U.S. that already adhere to the highest professional standards including good manufacturing practices.We embrace any label changes that will lead to a better understanding of the potential risks of overexposure and thereby enhance our customers’ safety. However we are concerned that the proposed requirements will burden our members with addition(al) unnecessary governmental costs in an already difficult economic climate.”

Research has proven that many times safety regulations and codes are ignored by those in the tanning industry.  The American Journal of  Preventative Medicine cites that 95% of tanners exceed their recommended exposure limits. In addition,  statistics confirm that those who are less than age 35 and use tanning beds increase their risk of contracting melanoma more than 75%. Melanoma is known as the most lethal of cancers.

The FDA proposal unveiled this week is aimed at reversing the rising cases of skin cancer for young adults. Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for 15- to 29-year-olds, and the No. 1 cancer for 25- to 29-year-olds, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

In addition to requiring manufactures to meet safety standards, the FDA will also require tanning beds to feature warning labels prominently on the beds and brochures aimed at people under 18 that say multiple use increases the risk of cancer.

The proposal is open for public comment for 90 days before the FDA issues its final recommendations. Afterward, indoor tanning manufacturers and salons will have one year to comply with any new requirements.


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Written by Heidi Shepard

Heidi was born and raised in Vero Beach, Florida. At a very young age she discovered her passion for writing, and graduated in 1996 from Florida State University with a major in journalism and minor in Nursing. She is a licensed RN part-time and also works full-time writing for various local health journals and papers. She is a definite asset to Newhealthalert. Not only does her experience and passion show through her keen writing, but her expertise in the medical field enables her to capture the best news topics and subjects found in the health niche.

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