The FDA Does Not Want Teenagers to Tan


The Food and Drug administration is making it harder for teens to achieve that perfect glow by banning anyone under 18 from being able to use an indoor tanning device. New regulations would also require people over 18 to sign an acknowledgment form that says they are aware of the risks. “Today’s action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms,” said acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D in a statement on the FDA website. “Individuals under 18 years are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.”

CNN reports there are between 18,000 to 19,000 indoor tanning salons in the United States, plus an additional 15,000 to 20,000 other facilities (like spas and health clubs) that offer indoor tanning services. Tanning-related injuries account for more than 3,000 emergency room visits every year. Serious health risks such as skin cancer, including deadly melanoma, as well as other types of skin damage are known to be caused by indoor tanning.

According to a 2013 survey, the FDA reports 1.6 million minors indoor tan each year. Earlier this year, several states began restricting tanning bed use for minors, but teens kept finding a way to get that fake sun-kissed look. The FDA is also issuing proposing new changes that would require manufacturers and tanning facilities to improve safety standards, including an emergency shut-off switch, easy-to-read warning labels and eyewear protection improvements. In 2009, the World Health Organization classified tanning beds as carcinogenic to humans.

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Image via Shutterstock.

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