Prevent Cancer Foundation Endorses Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act

Published on June 24, 2011

June 24, 2011

Liona Chan
(703) 519-2107

(Alexandria, Va.)—Today, the Prevent Cancer Foundation endorsed legislation that would initiate an effort to increase regulation of indoor tanning beds, which have been proven to greatly increase the likelihood of developing melanoma. The Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act, H.R. 1676 would charge the FDA with reviewing classification of tanning beds from Class I medical devices, which includes cotton balls and Band-aids, to a known carcinogen along with tobacco smoke, asbestos and uranium. This legislation would also address the need to limit the amount of radiation that an ultraviolet tanning lamp could emit and limit the approved amount of time that a person could be exposed to UV radiation at that level.

A broad body of evidence has indicated that tanning bed use exponentially increases the likelihood of developing melanoma, the most common serious form of skin cancer. Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for at least 30 years and 70,000 people are expected to be diagnosed this year.

“As a practicing dermatologist, I am seeing more and more cases of melanoma and skin cancer each year caused by overexposure to UV rays. There is the growing body of evidence that links exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices with an increased risk of skin cancer,” said Dr. Darrell S. Rigel, Prevent Cancer Foundation Medical Advisory Board Members and clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

“Young men and women need to understand that tanning is equivalent to smoking.  The more you do of it, the greater the risk of getting skin cancer later in life. Increased regulation of these devices, coupled with continued education through professionals and non-profit health organizations like the Prevent Cancer Foundation can help reduce incidence.”

The performance standards of tanning beds, such as the strength of the UV rays emitted and the recommended amount of time a consumer should remain in the bed, have not been updated since 1985. The Prevent Cancer Foundation will continue to advocate for this important legislation as it could potentially help reduce the incidence of skin cancer.

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About The Prevent Cancer Foundation:
The mission of the Prevent Cancer Foundation is to save lives through cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, the Foundation has provided more than $125 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education, advocacy and community outreach nationwide. For more information, please visit


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