(Updates with details from FDA conference call)
May 29 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is
strengthening its regulation of tanning beds, which have been
shown to increase the risk of skin cancer.
The FDA, which is reclassifying sun lamp products from low
risk to moderate risk, said on Thursday that in future sun lamp
manufacturers must seek approval before they market a new
In addition, tanning beds must carry a visible warning
against their use in people under the age of 18. Warnings about
the risk of skin cancer must be included in any user
instructions, brochures or marketing materials on the internet.
The requirement that beds carry a label warning against use
in young people does not carry any legal weight and salon owners
would not face fines if they allowed under 18-year-olds to use
Some dermatologists and public health advocates had argued
for an actual restriction, which would have carried penalties
"We applaud the FDA for taking this important first step,"
said Dr. Brett Coldiron, president of the American Academy of
Dermatology Association in a statement. "However, we recognize
that there is still more work to be done to protect the public
from these dangerous devices."
A study by the American Academy of Dermatology found that
people exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning
faced a 59 percent higher risk of melanoma, a deadly form of
Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices
and Radiological Health, said repeated UV exposure from sun lamp
products poses a risk of skin cancer for all users, "but the
highest risk for skin cancer is in young persons under the age
of 18 and people with a family history of skin cancer."
(Reporting by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti
Pandey and Andrew Hay)