FDA Considering Additional Regulations on Tanning Beds

For many people, especially teenage girls, indoor tanning seems like the perfect answer to look like a bronze goddess year-round. This is particularly true for those of us living in colder climates, like we experience in Michigan. However, experts have recently likened the cancer risk associated with using tanning beds to be as dangerous as exposing yourself to the carcinogen, arsenic.

Up until this point, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t become involved in the debate between skin cancer experts and the indoor tanning industry. But with mounting evidence showing the link between tanning and skin cancer, an FDA advisory panel is meeting today to consider whether there should be more restrictions on tanning beds.

According to Skin Cancer Foundation Vice President, Allan Halpern, as many as 1 in 4 melanomas in young women can be attributed to the use of tanning beds. Nevertheless, at the moment, tanning beds are still considered “safe” by the FDA. At most indoor tanning salons, the only requirement is that tanners wear safety goggles to protect their eyes from the UV rays emitted by the bed. Some lawmakers are hoping to place additional restrictions on tanning beds, including a “warning label” like that found on packs of cigarettes. The Indoor Tanning Association continues to defend tanning beds, arguing that there are benefits to exposure to UV radiation.