On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. With studies showing a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) is working closely with federal legislatures to protect the public from the dangers of indoor tanning.
The AADA continues to be the authoritative voice on Capitol Hill, promoting awareness about the dangers of indoor tanning as it relates to tanning bed reclassification, skin cancer prevention and education, and the indoor tanning tax.
FDA tanning bed reclassification
On May 6, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed order to strengthen regulations of tanning beds by:
- A strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under 18;
- The reclassification of indoor tanning devices from a Class I to a Class II medical device; and,
- Labeling that clearly communicates the risk of skin cancer to all users.
Advocates for skin cancer prevention and education in the U.S. House and Senate have sent letters to the FDA in support of the agency’s effort to reclassify tanning devices.
Skin cancer prevention and education
The AADA celebrated Melanoma and Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month® on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, by hosting a Capitol Hill briefing in the Cannon Caucus Room at the Cannon House Office Building.
This congressional briefing was intended to raise awareness about melanoma, encourage early detection of skin cancer, and to educate the public about sun safety strategies, such as discouraging tanning bed use, to prevent future skin cancer incidences. Following the briefing, AADA dermatologists conducted 70 free skin cancer screenings – using a UV camera – that was open to the public.
Indoor tanning tax
HR 2092 and S 1278: Bills to repeal the tax on indoor tanning
- In July, AADA member Brian O’Donnell, MD, FAAD, wrote an op-ed in The Portland Press Herald condemning Sen. Olympia Snowe for introducing S 1278.
- The AADA, along with 85 medical and skin cancer organizations, signed letters opposing the introduction of HR 2092 and S 1278.
Energy and Commerce Committee tanning salon investigation
In February 2012, the House Energy and Commerce Committee concluded a thorough investigation of indoor tanning salons that found nearly all salons contacted denied the known risks of indoor tanning, and four out of five salons claimed indoor tanning is beneficial to a young person's health.