FDA Heeds Maloney’s Call to Ban Tanning Beds for Minors

Dec 18, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTONRep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Skin Cancer Caucus, hailed the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement today of a proposed rule to restrict the use of tanning beds to those 18 and older. Maloney called on the FDA in 2014 to ban tanning beds for minors and led the fight in Congress to reclassify tanning beds as Class II medical devices.

“I’ve long called tanning beds ‘cancer coffins’, because we know their direct link to higher rates of skin cancer and deadly melanoma. This proposal is a long-overdue step to keep young people safe from these dangerous devices” said Maloney. “I first investigated tanning beds because too many young women came to me when they were diagnosed with melanoma in their early 20s and 30s after regular trips to the tanning salon in their teens. It became clear to me that skin cancer had gone from a disease predominantly found in older men to one that affected a growing number of young women.”

This rule follows Maloney’s repeated calls for the FDA to go beyond its 2014 reclassification of indoor tanning lamps to ban the use of these dangerous devices by minors. Even after this reclassification—which added a warning label to tanning beds—Maloney was concerned by the high rates of indoor tanning by minors. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 20.2 percent of female high school students used tanning devices in 2013. Partially because of increased UV exposure due to indoor tanning, skin cancers are now the second-most-common form of cancer for young women age 15 to 29.

In June 2014, Maloney sent a letter to the FDA urging age restrictions on tanning beds, and in April 2015 she followed up on this call by urging the Administration to move forward with this proposal. In June, she called on the Office of Management and Budget to release this rule from its review process.



In 2006, Maloney introduced the TAN Act (H.R. 4767), which passed as part of the FDA Amendments Act of 2007, required the FDA to study the efficacy of warning labels for tanning beds and began the process that led to this reclassification of UV tanning lamps as Class II medical devices, which was finalized in May 2014.  Under the new classification, the FDA now requires black box warning labels on all tanning beds, indicating that the products should not be used by those under the age of 18. Manufacturers are also required to include additional warnings in their marketing materials and show that their products meet performance testing requirements.