Reps. Maloney, Dent, Lieu and DeLauro Call for Swift Approval of FDA Indoor Tanning Regulations

Mar 21, 2016
Press Release
Lead bipartisan letter signed by 23 members to Commissioner Califf applauding the agency’s recent proposal

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Charles W. Dent (PA-15), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), and Ted Lieu (CA-33) led 23 of their colleagues on a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf Friday calling for swift approval of the agency’s recent proposal to place an age 18 minimum on the use of indoor tanning devices.

“This new rule is a tremendous step to protect young Americans from harmful ultraviolet radiation and curb the spread of skin cancer,” they wrote in a letter to the Commissioner. “We applaud the FDA’s bold proposal to decrease the prevalence of tanning among adolescents, and urge the agency to finalize the rule as soon as possible.”

Under the 2014 reclassification of UV lamps, 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.

The signers reiterate that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with melanoma and skin cancer rates rising even though incident rates for other cancers is decreasing. More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer and about 11,000 case of melanoma can be attributed to indoor tanning, which increases an individual’s risk of developing melanoma by 59 percent.

The age restriction comes after Maloney’s June 2014 letter to the FDA urging it to adopt a ban on tanning bed use for minors.

The letter, in full, is below.  A pdf of the signed letter can be found here.

Dear Commissioner Califf,

We commend your agency for its proposal to restrict the use of dangerous indoor tanning devices to only adults age 18 and older. We strongly supported the 2013 rule to ensure that consumers know about the harmful effects of these devices, and believe this new rule is a tremendous step to protect young Americans from harmful ultraviolet radiation and curb the spread of skin cancer.

As you are well aware, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Across the world, more cases of skin cancer are caused by indoor tanning each year than there are lung cancer cases due to smoking. At the same time as incidence rates for other cancers are decreasing, melanoma and skin cancer are among the fastest-growing cancers in America, and treatment costs have grown to over $8 billion each year.

Skin cancers are now the second most-common form of cancer for young women age 15 to 29. According to a report published in January 2014 by JAMA Dermatology, over 419,000 cases of skin cancer and about 11,000 cases of melanoma can be attributed to indoor tanning--an activity that increases risk by 59 percent.

Each year, two to three million teens under 18 use tanning beds, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 23.4 percent of female high school students use tanning beds each year. We applaud the FDA’s bold proposal to decrease the prevalence of tanning among adolescents, and urge the agency to finalize the rule as soon as possible.

 

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