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Press Release

February 3, 2016

Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association

American Skin Association Strongly Endorses Recently Proposed FDA Regulations to Limit Tanning Bed Exposure for Minors

February 3, 2016 - New York, New York – American Skin Association (ASA), a longstanding advocacy organization for dermatologic health care, strongly endorses the recently proposed limits to be placed on tanning beds. Use would be restricted to individuals age 18 and older and would require prospective users to sign a risk acknowledgement. The proposal is gaining praise from organizations like ASA, whose mission is both to advance dermatological research and to educate youth on the importance of skin health and sun safety.

Tanning beds produce strong ultraviolet radiation in order to produce a tan. This is the same type of radiation shown to increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, and also leads to premature skin aging. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) findings, "UV radiation exposure can lead to permanent damage to DNA in the skin, which has been shown to lead to an increased risk of skin cancer." Additionally, the FDA report states that evidence suggests that individuals who begin indoor tanning at ages younger than 18 years are particularly vulnerable to the carcinogenic impact of indoor tanning.

"The FDA’s proposed restrictions on tanning beds are a promising step forward in the fight against melanoma and other devastating skin cancers," said ASA President, Dr. Philip Prioleau. ASA fully supports the passing of this FDA regulation and hopes the agency will consider further regulation in the future, ultimately banning the use of indoor tanning equipment for non-medical purposes by both minors and adults. ASA hopes that the FDA will soon finalize the proposed rule to restrict the sale, distribution and use of sunlamp products, as any delay in establishing this restriction represents a continued risk to the youth of America from the harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation.


A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, ASA has evolved over twenty-eight years as a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and other skin diseases. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans – one third of the U.S. population – afflicted with skin disorders, the organization’s mission remains to: advance research, champion skin health – particularly among children, and drive public awareness about skin disease. For more information, visit