Lawmakers push FDA to finalize indoor tanning ban for people under 18

Members of the House are pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a final rule banning indoor tanning for anyone under the age of 18.


Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Charles Dent (R-Pa.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) led 18 of their colleagues in a letter Friday urging FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to finalize the rule “as soon as possible.”

“Across the world, more cases of skin cancer are caused by indoor tanning each year than there are lung cancer cases due to smoking," their letter said. "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.”

The FDA issued the proposed rule back in December that called not only for an age restriction but new requirements for prominent safety warnings, an emergency shut-off switch and limits on the amount of light allowed to permeate protective eyewear.   

Citing a January 2014 report from JAMA Dermatology, a peer-reviewed medical journal, the lawmakers said that of more than 419,000 cases of skin cancer, about 11,000 cases of melanoma could be attributed to indoor tanning activities, which increase that risk by 59 percent.