FDA mulls tanning bed ban for teens

April 6, 2010

Gaithersburg, Md. - A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration has recommended that the agency place tighter controls on artificial tanning, the Associated Press reports. Those controls could range from requiring parental consent forms to banning the practice in teens under age 18.

Gaithersburg, Md. - A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that the agency place tighter controls on artificial tanning, the Associated Press reports. Those controls could range from requiring parental consent forms to banning the practice in teens under age 18.

The FDA has regulated sunlamps for more than 20 years. A recent World Health Organization report, however, shows that the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer increases 75 percent in people who use tanning beds in their teens and 20s, prompting a call for tighter regulations.

More than 30 states currently have some form of tanning-salon regulations, including a few states that require parental consent. New FDA regulations would apply nationally.

The panel also recommended that the FDA add bolder warning labels to tanning beds and change how they are regulated. Those changes could include limiting levels of radiation the devices emit.

The FDA is not required to follow the advice of its expert panels, though it often does.