The potential for tanning beds to cause skin cancer will effectively require manufacturers to issue consumers with labels warning them of this risk.

Tanning bed distribution among consumers

The fact that tanning beds have the potential to increase the risk of users getting skin cancer will oblige the manufacturers to issue labels that inform customers. The consumer should also be enlightened on the fact that it’s a product that shouldn’t be utilized by consumers who are below 18yrs.

This is an action that could materialize through a new suggestion put forth by the Food and Drug Administration. The institution also announced that it had forwarded proposals that would see the method in which sunlamps were utilized in tanning beds changed.

The lamps are said to produce ultraviolet radiation. This factor alone makes the device fall under the Class 1 category where low risk items are often classified. This is the very category where one is likely to find other low risk devices such as band-Aids and tongue depressors. According to Jeff Shuren, devices in this category need not to be screened prior to being sold.

The suggested change would see tanning lamps moved up to the Class 2 categories. This is where devices such as CT Scanners are placed since they emit a certain amount of radiation.

The FDA’s director, Jeff Shuren, added that there were certain standards that this product would have to meet in order to be sold if the suggestion put forward was accepted. The label will have to forewarn consumers of risks posed if they already have skin cancer. This was to be the same for consumers who had cases of skin cancer being common among their family members. Consumers who had skin lesions also had to be warned against using this product.

Controlling the risks caused by tanning beds

According to Shuren, re-examining the tanning machines prior to them hitting the shelves will enable the FDA have confidence in their ability to serve consumers more safely. The only concern that he had was, the software utilized resulted in the timer not functioning properly. This resulted in users staying longer on the tanning bed and thus being exposed more to the radiation. There was also the issue of users suffering from burn inflicted when there were electric faults and power surges.

The study indicated that the percentage of teenager who got sunburns as a result of using this product stood at 58%. The percentage of college students, mostly girls, who experienced a similar fate stood at 66%. Mr. Shuren pointed out the fact that users should be able to tan their skin without getting any sunburns. He added that these devices expose user to 10 times more radiation as compared to the sun. It should be noted that according to the WHO (World Health Organization), the ultraviolet light emitted is considered a carcinogen.

Mr. Shuren stated that even using the device once for a certain period could increase the user’s chances of getting melanoma by approximately 74%.

Vermont and California are restricting children under the age of 18 yrs from using the device. New Jersey, New York and Chicago have also followed suit since they too are prohibiting children below 18yrs from using the tanning bed.

Mary Maloney, American Academy of Dermatology’s spokeswoman, feels that these equipments should be monitored since they are among the major causes of the current rise of melanoma cases in young females.