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FDA proposes banning minors from using tanning beds

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, proposed regulations that would ban minors from using tanning beds. According to the FDA, more than 1.6 million children under 18 years use tanning beds, and the exposure to radiation can increase melanoma’s risk by 59 percent.

The FDA also proposed that adults will have to sign a form every 6 months for acknowledging the risks, a list of safety requirements for manufacturers of beds, including clearer warnings and an emergency switch. If the proposals come into effect, it could cause a huge downfall in the tanning industry.

The FDA estimates that the new rules could lead to reduced demand, that could cut revenues by $500 million to $825 million at year over the next decade.

“Today’s action is intended to protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms,” said acting FDA commissioner Stephen Ostroff in a statement.

Though tanning beds provide a sun-kisses look even in winter, it increases the risk of skin cancer due to ultraviolet radiation. FDA officials said that the regulations are aimed at protecting young people from cancer, apart from other potential harms such as premature wrinkles, burns, age spots and eye diseases such as cataracts.

Vasum Peiris, chief medical officer of pediatrics and special populations in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health said that they want to make sure adolescents are protected from this, and that’s why they’re taking the actions they are today.

The FDA mentioned that the effects of UV radiation exposure, progressively, leading to the risk of skin damage over the course of a lifetime. Tanning beds can also cause eye injuries, fainting spells, eye injuries, strains, sprains, bruises, skin burns or dislocations. In the US, there are 63,000 new cases of melanoma each year, and about 9,000 annual deaths from the disease, most of them including teens and young adults.

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