Campus Life

Health Shorts: Tanning beds off limits for teens?

Should adolescents need parental consent to use tanning beds? An FDA advisory panel thinks so.

Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation before age 18 -- from tanning beds as well as the sun -- is a major risk factor for melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

In addition to recommending that the FDA restrict tanning bed use to adults age 18 and over or those with signed parental consent, the advisory panel called for a ban on tanning bed use by individuals with the palest skin, known as Fitzpatrick skin type 1. Most people with this skin type are red-haired, freckled and prone to sun burning rather than tanning.

[SOURCE: Daniel J. DeNoon, “FDA panel: new tanning bed restrictions needed,” WebMD Health News, March 30, 2010; Daniel J. DeNoon, “FDA panel: restrict tanning beds,” WebMD Health News, March 25, 2010]

Last Updated June 16, 2010