Possible age restrictions proposed for tanning

Jessica Arndt , Staff Writer

Many young people prepare for summer by visiting a tanning salon. However, some major risks and warnings should be taken into consideration before jumping into the tanning bed.

According to Bill Gillette of modernmedicine.com, on Feb. 17 of this year five congressional democrats representing five different states sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, urging her to take action to protect consumers from the harmful UV rays produced by tanning beds.

This letter came almost two years after the FDA’s General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel found that federal warnings and regulations concerning the use of tanning beds should be increased.

The major concern of these legislators is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not taken the appropriate steps to make these new regulations a reality. A majority of the panel favored age restrictions for tanning bed use and special restrictions and education for users with very fair skin or a family history of skin cancer.

They also concluded that strengthened education, training, testing and certification of tanning bed operators as well as improved warnings and warning review processes would help prevent skin cancer diagnoses and deaths.

The National Cancer Institute Cancer Bulletin (July 2008) states that Melanoma is now the most common form of cancer for white women between the ages of 15 and 29 years old. Since 1980, the rate of melanoma in this group has increased by 50 Percent.