FDA, lawmakers want to limit UV ray exposure, improve warning labels ,,,,
TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Tanning beds -- America's latest health scourge -- could come under tighter regulation soon, as a result of studies linking them to cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and members of Congress are scrambling to protect tanning salon patrons -- young women, in particular -- from exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
"To me, tanning is exactly the same as smoking," said Dr. Darrell S. Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "Just like smoking, the more you do of it, the greater the risk of getting skin cancer later in life."
The regulatory crackdown follows a slew of studies in recent years documenting the health risks of UV exposure from tanning lamps.
These studies show that UV radiation exposure during indoor tanning damages the DNA in skin cells and that excessive exposure can lead to skin aging, immune suppression and eye damage, says the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA).
"There's a growing recognition that, number one, this is potentially dangerous, and number two, this is really affecting the most vulnerable population," predominantly young women, explained Dr. William Ting, a private practice dermatologist in San Ramon, Calif., who has studied the melanoma risk related to indoor tanning.
The issue grabbed headlines last summer after the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer upgraded tanning beds from "possibly carcinogenic to humans" to "carcinogenic to humans."
WHO's reclassification followed a review of research published in The Lancet Oncology showing that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds begins before age 30.
Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer when it's not recognized and tre
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