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FDA Proposes Changes For Tanning Beds

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Teens who prefer to tan inside rather than make use of the Miami sun may see a change if a Food and Drug Administration's proposal gets approved.

The federal government now wants stronger warnings on indoor tanning beds as more young people develop a deadly form of skin cancer.

The FDA wants more oversight of indoor tanning beds.  They also urged people under 18 not to use them which would help reduce cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, in young people.

"So many people are coming in with skin cancers, and it's just way too young to have them," said dermatologist Dr. Joyce Fox.

An estimated 2.3 million teenagers tan indoors each year. Studies suggest their risk of melanoma is 75 percent higher than those who don't use sun lamps.

"Every additional dose of what we consider a carcinogen - ultraviolet light - is another nail in the coffin," said Dr. Fox.

The proposal also calls for tanning beds to be labeled as "Moderate Risk" devices; they already carry warning stickers.

If the FDA proposal is approved, it would require tanning beds to have new labels aiming at those under 18. It would have to include warnings to young people about the risks of using the sunlamps and that frequent users should be regularly screened for skin cancer.

"We embrace any changes that enhance our customer's safety," a spokesman for the indoor tanning industry said. "These changes will place unnecessary burdens and governmental costs on these businesses in an already difficult economic climate."

Any new federal regulations won't be announced for at least 90 days.


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