FDA proposes new tanning bed restrictions

Posted at 9:50 AM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 09:58:49-05

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed new tanning bed guidelines in an effort to protect public health.

Minors under 18 would be prohibited from using sunlamp products. In addition, adults would be required to sign risk acknowledgement certificates every six months under the changes. 

“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 press release. “Individuals under 18 years are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.”

Facilities would also be required to improve the overall safety of their products. 

The FDA lists the proposed changes:

  • making warnings easier to read and more prominent on the device;
  • requiring an emergency shut off switch, or “panic button”;
  • improving eye safety by adding requirements that would limit the amount of light allowed through protective eyewear;
  • improving labeling on replacement bulbs so tanning facility operators can make sure they are using the proper replacement bulbs, reducing the risk of accidental burns; and
  • prohibiting dangerous device modifications, like installing stronger bulbs, without re-certifying and re-identifying the device with the FDA. 

The proposed rules will be open for public comment for 90 days.