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FDA Orders New Warning Labels for Tanning Beds

All sunlamp devices must warn against use by people under 18, agency says

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"The risk increases with each use, which presents a serious health public health problem for children under 18," Stade said.

According to the FDA, one required warning will read: "Persons repeatedly exposed to UV radiation should be regularly evaluated for skin cancer."

One skin cancer expert applauded the FDA's move.

"Hindsight is 20/20, but what we need is foresight, something that most teenagers do not have with their skin," said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

"I support this legislation as it will help protect the health of youth, who may feel invincible, but in reality are at the most risk because they are not properly protecting their skin from the harmful effects of UV light," he said.

Under the new rule, manufacturers will now have to apply for FDA approval prior to marketing indoor tanning devices, which until now were exempt from premarket review. They will have to show that the devices meet basic standards of performance and product design.

The FDA's final order reclassifying tanning beds and sunlamps follows the recommendations from a panel of outside experts convened in March 2010. The panel evaluated the risks of sunlamp products, and recommended that FDA increase regulation of these devices. Certain members of the panel recommended that children and teenagers not use the products.

The agency released a proposed order on indoor tanning devices in May 2013, and received comments from industry, patient groups and professional societies before issuing its final order a year later.

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