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Sun in a Box: FDA Issues Sunlamp Warning

Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) upped the warning level on tanning beds and sunlamps.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates approximately 13,000 people each year die of skin cancers. A leading cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultra-violet (UV) radiation.

Emanating from our daytime star, the sun, everyone is exposed to UV radiation.

Any time of year, some people turn to tanning salons to boost their natural glow. Using a tanning bed or sunlamp products increases the amount of time the skin is exposed to UV radiation. Physiologically, a tan is evidence of the mechanism of the body trying to defend itself against radiation. That “healthy glow” is damage.

In May, the FDA required manufacturers of sunlamp products like tanning beds to place a warning about the use of the devices in a black box on the product. The black box warning is the strongest regulatory caution available to the FDA.

Points of the FDA announcement include:

  • People exposed to UV radiation from tanning products boost their risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent.
  • Absorption of radiation is cumulative. The black box warning must state tanning devices should not be used by persons under age 18. Some believe exposure to sunlamp radiation is increasing development of melanoma in young adults between 20 and 30 years of age.
  • The warning must also indicate persons who use sunlamps should be regularly evaluated for skin cancer.

If you use a tanning bed, wear goggles, watch exposure times and ensure the equipment is safe. If you are injured through the use of a defective tanning bed or other product throughout North Carolina, seek experienced legal counsel.

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