FDA proposes banning under 18-year-olds from indoor tanning

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Indoor Tanning Hazards and Alternatives You Should Know

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed banning people under the age of 18 from using sunbeds and requiring sunbed manufacturers to make sunbed warnings clearer.

Users would be required to sign a form acknowledging they understand the risks before their first indoor tanning session and every six months afterwards. More than 3,000 emergency room visits a year, on average, occur for injuries related to indoor tanning in the U.S.

SEE ALSO: Health 101: The hidden dangers of spray tanning

In 2013 the FDA recommended that tanning beds not be used by people under the age of 18 but stopped short of banning them. Its latest proposal brings it in line with recommendations made by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization.

"Today's action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms," acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff said in a statement. "Individuals under 18 are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning."

Some 1.6 million minors indoor tan each year, the agency said.

The Indoor Tanning Association has argued that the decision on whether a teen is allowed to suntan is one for parents, not government, and it supports parental consent.

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