DeLauro wants FDA to act on tanning bed regs (release)
Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Ranking Member on the Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, sent the following letter to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, urging the agency to act on recommendations made two years ago to regulate tanning beds.
The Congresswoman included a letter from two leading melanoma experts, Dr. David Fisher and Alan Geller, in support of her call for action. Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in young adults and the most deadly type of skin cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 76,250 Americans will be diagnosed and that more than 9,100 Americans will die because of melanoma in 2012.
Though they are internationally recognized as carcinogens and their use is associated with a greater risk of skin cancer, tanning beds are currently classified in the same device category as band aids and tongue depressors. They are not appropriately classified or labeled with the health information that could help Americans make informed choices about the use of these known carcinogens. Congresswoman DeLauro has consistently called for stronger regulation of these devices, but the FDA has yet to act.
"During the two-year period since that hearing, we estimate that tanning bed use is primarily responsible for more than 5,000 cases of new melanomas in women resulting in an estimated 750 unnecessary deaths," Dr. Fisher and Geller's letter states. "How can the established skin cancer risk from tanning beds be continuously permitted, in the face of so much scientific and clinical evidence?"
"As a member of Congress, and a cancer survivor, I simply cannot accept this inaction," Congresswoman DeLauro's letter states. "When will we have honest and accurate regulations and labels in place to protect Americans and end these unnecessary deaths caused by an inappropriately-regulated device?"