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This week’s headline:

AADA victory: New FDA indoor tanning device restrictions an important milestone

After years of working aggressively to strengthen regulations of indoor tanning devices, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for finalizing stricter regulations of indoor tanning devices.

The new restrictions include:

  • A strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.
  • The reclassification for sunlamps and tanning beds to a Class II level.
  • Labeling that clearly communicates the risk of skin cancer to all users. Under the final changes, manufacturers will be required to provide updated labeling for all products on the market within 450 days of June 2, 2014.

For years, the AADA fought to achieve these regulations — which are essential to ensuring greater safety for the American public. The reclassification of indoor tanning devices will help to reduce the incidence of skin cancer and the AADA is pleased that the FDA has taken this important first step. Read the press release issued by the AADA.

AADA advocacy at all levels
In 2010, the FDA convened an Advisory Panel hearing to examine the classification and regulations of tanning beds. AADA representatives, leading dermatologists, researchers and patients testified about the risks associated with indoor tanning and the need to protect the public from these dangers.

Since that hearing, the AADA worked vigorously with the FDA and also reached out to advocates for skin cancer prevention and education in the U.S. House and Senate encouraging them to send letters to the FDA in support of the agency’s effort to reclassify tanning devices. Read the letters sent to the FDA from key members of Congress.

Additionally, the AADA is constantly working with state dermatology societies and state legislatures to introduce and support laws and regulations that protect consumers and promote awareness about skin cancer prevention and the dangers of indoor tanning. This final order bolsters the AADA’s efforts at the state level to restrict indoor tanning beds. To date, the AADA has actively worked with more than 24 states to restrict access to indoor tanning beds by minors.

The AADA recognizes that there is still more work to be done to protect the public from these dangerous devices, and will continue to urge the FDA and state legislative and regulatory bodies to completely restrict the use and sale of indoor tanning devices for minors under the age of 18.

Implications of device reclassification
Prior to the FDA’s final order, indoor tanning devices were categorized as Class I — the category for items that have minimal potential to cause harm to individuals, such as adhesive bandages and tongue depressors. With a Class II reclassification, tanning bed and lamp manufacturers will be required to show that their products have met certain performance testing requirements. In addition, tanning bed and lamp manufacturers will be required to label the devices so that they:

  • Clearly inform consumers about the risks of using tanning beds;
  • Warn frequent users of sunlamps to be regularly screened for skin cancer; and
  • Alert users that tanning lamps are not recommended for people under the age of 18.

For more information on this issue, contact Amanda Grimm, AADA manager of regulatory and public policy at agrimm@aad.org.

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