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FDA Proposes Reclassification of Tanning Beds to Increase Consumer Awareness of Risks

Statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

May 6, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 6, 2012 – “ACS CAN applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s announcement today that it will reclassify tanning beds from low- to moderate-risk products. With today’s decision, sunlamps used for tanning will go from being regulated in the same risk category as tongue depressors to a category that more accurately reflects their danger to individuals’ health.

“More than three years ago, an FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended that the FDA reclassify tanning beds to better reflect the health dangers they pose to individuals who use them. Today’s announcement will also require salons to display crucial labeling that discourages people under the age 18 from using these products.

“Indoor tanning beds are not safe. Those who use sunbeds before age 35 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, by 75 percent. We commend the FDA as they make this historic leap forward in warning individuals of those dangers and discouraging their use. We continue to work at the state level to support policies that prohibit the use of tanning beds by minors.”

Christopher W. Hansen, president of ACS CAN, and Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, sent a letter in December to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling for the reclassification of the sunlamps used in tanning beds to better reflect the health dangers they pose to individuals who use them. For the full text of the letter, please visit:

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
Email: or

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