New Law Mandates Better Skin Cancer Warnings on Tanning Beds
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the President signed into law comprehensive drug safety legislation that included a key provision authored by Congresswoman Maloney to require better warnings about the cancer risks associated with the use of tanning beds.
“The warnings on tanning beds should clearly get the message across, just like the warnings on cigarette packs do. I’ve heard from tanning bed users who were unaware of the serious cancer risks, which is why I believe the current warning isn’t doing its job. Using a tanning bed is not safer than tanning under the sun, and Americans need to be fully informed,” said Maloney. “I want to thank Senator Reed for all his hard work on this important issue.”
The tanning bed warning provision included in the new comprehensive drug safety law was based on legislation introduced earlier this year in the House by Maloney and Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), the “Tanning Accountability and Notification Act” (TAN Act, H.R. 945). Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced similar legislation in the Senate (S. 668).
The Maloney TAN Act provision included in the new drug safety law directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to re-examine the warning label on tanning beds with the purpose of ensuring that it most effectively communicates the risk of skin cancer and other serious skin conditions. It also requires the FDA to conduct consumer testing to determine the appropriateness of the current labeling requirements for indoor tanning beds. Under the new law, the FDA has one year to conduct these tests and report back to Congress on efforts HHS is undertaking to improve tanning bed warnings.
The TAN Act is supported by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Maloney and Brown-Waite introduced the TAN Act in February: http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1285&Itemid=61
They also called for hearings last spring: http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1099&Itemid=61
-According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 70% of tanning bed users are women between the ages of 16 and 49.
-The American Cancer Society estimates that this year more than 1 million people are expected to be diagnosed with skin cancers, which is associated with exposure to ultra-violet light.
-A person’s chances of getting invasive melanoma are 1 in 63.
-A person’s chances of getting melanoma (both invasive and in situ) are 1 in 33.
-One American dies of melanoma every 65 minutes.