Skin Cancer Prevention
In 2007, Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Tanning Accountability and Notification (TAN) Act, which would require the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the current labeling of indoor tanning beds provides sufficient information about the risks associated with indoor tanning. While many people understand that tanning outside is harmful, they often mistakenly believe that tanning in a salon is a safer alternative to sunbathing. To combat the rising rate of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer in the United States, Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Tanning Accountability and Notification (TAN) Act, which would require the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the current labeling of indoor tanning beds provides sufficient information about the risks associated with indoor tanning.
The language of the TAN Act was included in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, Public Law 110-85 (FDAAA), Section 230 of FDAAA. Based on this law the FDA amended the warning label requirements for sunlamp products to include specific formatting requirements to more clearly and effectively convey the risks that these devices pose for the development of irreversible damage to the eyes and skin, including skin cancer. The new label directly states “DANGER-Ultraviolet radiation…Repeated exposure may cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.” This was an important step toward reducing the risks of these devices with the end goal of reducing the rising rates of skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), almost 30 million Americans visit indoor tanning salons each year- 70% of visitors are women between the ages of 16 and 49. More than 25% of teen girls have used tanning salons three or more times in their lives. One of the reported side effects of indoor tanning is an elevated risk of skin cancer. According to the AAD, regular tanning bed use was associated with a 55% increase in the risk of developing melanoma, especially in women between the ages of 20 and 29. As a result, dermatologists have concluded that indoor tanning is not safe. The FDA and numerous leading United States and international health care organizations have expressed concerns that the consuming public is not aware indoor tanning devices emit ultraviolet radiation that is similar to and sometimes more powerful than UV radiation emitted by the sun. It is clear that Americans are not aware indoor tanning is dangerous.
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More on Skin Cancer Prevention
WASHINGTON, DC – Today on Capitol Hill, leaders from the political community, the medical community and the fashion industry joined together to renew their call for a better warning about the severe health risks of tanning beds. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Dr. Marta Van Beek of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, spoke out in support of the TAN Act (H.R. 4767), which was introduced earlier this year by Maloney and Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) and would direct the Food and Drug Administration to re-examine the warning label on tanning beds in order to effectively communicate the risk of skin cancer. Emily Konesky, a 19-year-old skin cancer victim from Buffalo who frequently used tanning beds, joined them to talk about the severe consequences of tanning bed use.