There’s no doubt that sunlamps and tanning beds are two way that can get one a dark tan you’re striving for. However, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently made a big statement concerning tanning products.
Tanning beds and sunlamps have come under harsh criticism because minors have been using these products known to be unsafe for them to use. The FDA is responsible for protecting the public by putting warning labels on various products about possible side effects and their dangers. Recently, FDA warnings went into effect for tanning beds and sunlamp products.
This week I came across an article where the FDA decided to change labeling requirements on tanning products from “low-risk” to “moderate-risk” devices. Also, the agency is requiring sunlamp and tanning bed products to carry a black box that is visible to customers that states that the products shouldn’t be used for people under the age of 18. The black box is the FDA’s strongest and most severe warning. One thing to note is that the black box does not restrict products to minors, however, it’s like the “Surgeon General’s Warning” on cigarette boxes.
According to the FDA sunlamp products emit UV radiation that is known to cause skin cancer. Don’t believe them? Well, The American Academy of Dermatology says studies have shown people who have been exposed to dangerous UV rays from indoor tanning have a 59% increase in developing melanoma. If you don’t know what melanoma is, it’s the most serious form of skin cancer as it accounts for 2% of all skin cancer cases. And, melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
According to Tim Turnham, executive director of the Melanoma Research Foundation, he stated, “For years we have watched more and more people being diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Today the Food and Drug Administration made a decision that may turn that trend around.”
I think the FDA is moving in the right direction helping protect public health. It’s important to teach people, especially those under 18 years of age the dangers of tanning beds and sunlamps. One doesn’t need tan skin to look good and everyone should remember this is not healthy. At the same time, I am aware that sun exposure will increase vitamin D levels, but there are definitely healthier alternatives to get your vitamin D.
What do you think of the new FDA warnings? Do you use tanning beds for sunlamps? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!