New FDA Rule Requires Black Box Warning Label On Tanning Beds

The Food and Drug Administration released a statement on Thursday announcing that all tanning beds will now require a black box warning label stating that children under 18 should not use the machines.

The UV rays produced by tanning beds are not only unhealthy, but can lead to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Indoor tanners who use ultraviolet machines are 75 percent more likely to get melanoma than those who have not tanned indoors, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports.

In 2010, Katie Donnar, a contestant for the Miss Indiana Pageant, revealed that she used to use a tanning bed twice a week since she was in the sixth grade. Not too much later, she got malignant melanoma. She did not believe that she could get skin cancer at the age of 17, and has not used a tanning bed since.

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults, reports the American Academy of Dermatology.

Under the Affordable Care Act, indoor tanning services now require a 10 percent excise tax. The act defines indoor tanning as “a service employing any electronic product designed to incorporate one or more ultraviolet lamps intended for the irradiation of an individual by ultraviolet radiation, with wavelengths in air between 200 and 400 nanometers, to induce skin tanning,” according to the IRS website.

Manufactures of the indoor tan machines must now require more information on the harms of tanning beds, especially the consequences for those who have a family history of cancer.

“The FDA is not trying to burden salons but rather to educate consumers who choose to voluntarily use sun lamp products about the potential risks,” said FDA Deputy Director for Policy Nancy Stade.

The new set of rules also changes the risk of tanning beds from Class I, which includes bandages, to a Class II device.

Although indoor tanning owners may not be pleased, they have 15 months to get the new warning labels on their machines.