FDA Proposes Tanning Bed Ban
In an effort to curb the steady rise in skin cancer cases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed barring everyone under 18 from using tanning beds.
There is mounting evidence that tanning beds play a bigger role in the nation’s cancer numbers than originally thought. A review of the scientific research published last year estimated that tanning beds account for as many as 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year, including 6,000 cases of melanoma, its deadliest form.
Young people are most at risk from indoor tanning. The risk of melanoma jumps by 59 percent in people who use tanning beds before the age of 35. Overall, indoor tanning increased the risk of melanoma by 20 percent.
Although some states have already banned the practice for minors, it is still available in most states, with salons dotting strip malls across the country and tanning beds popping up in places like gyms, college campuses and spas. A 2014 study by University of Miami researchers found more tanning salons in Florida than McDonald’s restaurants, CVS stores or Bank of America branches.
About a third of adults in the United States have reported using a tanning bed at least once — most of them women. The FDA proposal will be open for public comment for 90 days.
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