Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner
Health risks associated with indoor tanning have been documented for a number of years, as indicated by the recent increase in the number of states that have imposed age limits on use of commercial tanning beds. However, as the Washington Post reports, the recent proposal by the FDA to reclassify sunlamps and tanning beds from low-risk to moderate-risk devices intends to "help address some of the risks associated with sunlamp products and provide consumers with clear and consistent information," according FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. The proposal would require that tanning bed manufacturers submit them to the FDA for review prior to marketing them and to include labels that warn people under 18 to not use tanning beds.
Critics of the FDA proposal include Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, who supports stronger regulation but describes the FDA proposal as very weak for not including clinical testing on the tanning beds nor any enforcement measurement for users under 18.
Tanning bed manufacturers' spokesman John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association, expressed concern that the proposed changes and corresponding costs would create too much of a financial burden for their members.
Opponents of indoor tanning include the American Academy of Dermatology, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They have long advocated avoiding indoor tanning, and have cited a number of studies linking indoor tanning to an increased risk of skin cancers and eye damage.
As with any consumer safety issue, an educated consumer combined with common sense is the best approach.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer of the Year" (2011). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington's best--most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against train, truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, it is believed, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers (2012 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2012)-- national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.