The FDA Is Calling for Harsher Indoor Tanning Restrictions

The proposals would keep minors out of tanning beds and create regulations for manufacturers.

Tanning bed

Tanning bed photo via Shutterstock

For high school prom goers, a pre-dance tan may soon be off the table.

In September, the Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to prohibit indoor tanning for anyone younger than 18. Now, the FDA is joining the debate.

On Friday, the FDA released two new proposed indoor tanning restrictions. The first would, in accordance with the Senate’s vote, limit tanning bed use to those 18 and older, and would require adult tanners to sign risk acknowledgment forms every six months. The second proposal calls for sunlamp manufacturers to make a handful of changes that would improve safety, including an emergency off button, more prominent warning labels, and limiting light that can get through protective eyewear.

In a statement, acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff said limiting tanning bed use could be a major public health victory:

“Today’s action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms. Individuals under 18 years are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.”

Starting Tuesday, the two FDA proposals will be released in full online, and will be open for public comment for 90 days. The Massachusetts-specific legislation will go before the Massachusetts House of Representatives for final approval at some point in 2016.