FDA Puts New Age Restriction On Tanning Beds

Tanning beds and sun lamps will carry new warnings that they should not be used by anyone under age 18 as the federal government works to reduce rising rates of skin cancer linked to the radiation-emitting devices.

The Food and Drug Administration has regulated tanning machines for over 30 years, but for the first time the agency is requiring manufacturers to warn consumers about the machines' cancer risks.

Along with the bolded age restriction on the machines, manufacturers must provide additional warnings about cancer risks in pamphlets, catalogues and websites that promote indoor tanning.

Additionally, the FDA is requiring manufacturers to meet certain safety and design requirements, including timers and limits on radiation emitted. Previously, tanning devices were not subject to any preliminary review by health regulators.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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An effort in North Carolina's legislature to prohibit anyone under age 18 from using local tanning salons got delayed in the Senate last year.

Now, proponents of the restriction are hopeful it will pick up steam again with support from industry groups.

The American Suntanning Association said Tuesday it now supports legislation that cleared the House last year and it used to oppose. Group adviser Joe Levy says the group wants to promote cooperation and give clear messages to the public about ultraviolet radiation.

Current law prohibits anyone 13 or younger from using salon equipment unless with a written prescription. Children 14 to 17 must have a parent's permission.

A salon chain called Planet Beach also announced recently it supports the ban and has stopped offering UV services to children.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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