KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The American Academy of Dermatology says there’s a 75-percent increase in the risk of melanoma for those who’ve been exposed to indoor tanning lamp’s U.V. rays. The proposed F.D.A. order won’t prohibit tanning for those under the age of 18 but it will provide a warning of these consequences for younger users.
Dr. Daniel Aires, the Director of the Division of Dermatology at the University of Kansas Hospital, warns everyone’s at risk for melanoma.
“The youngest patient I’ve seen with melanoma is seven,” he said.
He says you can be exposed to some sun, but don’t get burned.
“Getting as few as three or four sunburns can double someone’s lifetime risk of melanoma,” he warns.
He says the rays from a tanning bed can be especially dangerous.
“Sometimes they can put it up to five times more of the dangerous radiation, so and that kind of intensity is what can cause the burning and can also lead to the risk of melanoma,” said Dr. Aires.
He supports the F.D.A.’s proposed order to reclassify sunlamps as moderate risk devices, providing stricter regulation, and warning labels against people under 18 tanning, and warning labels to let frequent users know they should be regularly screened for skin cancer.
As a melanoma survivor, Lee Norman also supports the regulation.
“Dont’ get into tanning booths, number one,” Norman said, including that he was careful with his skin, even before his diagnosis.
The Indoor Tanning Association issued a statement in response to the proposal, which in part said:
“We embrace any changes that will enhance our customers safety. However we are concerned that these changes will burden our members with addition [sic.] unnecessary governmental costs in an already difficult economic climate.”