Fda Restrictions On Tanning Salons

With the rising popularity of skin tanning and commercial tanning salons, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put certain warnings and regulations in place to protect and inform the public about the associated health risks of using tanning beds. Some skin health professionals claim that the restrictions on tanning salons aren’t severe enough, and lament that the burden of discovering and following these warnings and regulatory practices are left to the consumer, who pays the ultimate price.

Skin Tanning and The FDA
The FDA advises all persons that UV radiation caused by natural sunlight and artificial tanning lamps have been proven to cause health risks such as sunburn, premature aging, eye damage and some cancers. UVA rays emit shorter wavelengths that can damage the epidermis, the top layer of your skin, and UVB rays emit longer wavelengths that may cause deeper damage.

Because of the health risks posed by UV light, the FDA regulates the sales, distribution and commercial use of tanning beds, tanning lamps and other associated products.

Regulations on Salon Tanning Practices
The FDA requires all tanning beds and lamps to include labels that clearly express the health hazards of UV light exposure, so that consumers are aware of potential risks.

In addition, the FDA regulated the manufacture of tanning lamps to control the levels of UV radiation they’re permitted to emit. In a 2008 report to the Unites States Congress, the FDA noted that many salons and products exposed consumers to excessive amounts of UV radiation, and that similar results could be achieved using only one quarter to one third of the radiation used.

In 2010, the FDA held an advisory meeting involving medical and industry officials. Based on their discussions, the FDA is considering revising the current requirements on tanning bed manufacture and usage.

Regulations on Sunless Tanning Practices
Many salons offer sunless or spray tanning for those who don’t want to expose their skin to harmful UV rays, but still want to achieve that healthy-looking glow. The FDA places some regulations on this practice as well.

In 2003, the FDA released a statement about dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a main ingredient found in many sunless tanners. DHA is a color additive than can have harmful effects when applied topically, especially to sensitive areas like the eyes, nose and mouth. Tanners that use this ingredient must be clearly labeled as such.

FDA regulations on the tanning industry are aimed to minimize the risks associated with tanning for consumers.