Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes Shelton, said while she is pleased the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing new standards and labeling for tanning lamps, she still has concerns.
DeLauro, a former chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee that funds the FDA, said she has long fought to ensure consumers have information about the dangers of indoor tanning.
“I am glad the FDA is moving forward with a clear warning about the risks of indoor tanning, but I still have concerns about the details and implementation of this proposal,” DeLauro said. “I will continue to press the agency to ensure that consumers get the information they need to make informed choices.”
Deadliest form of skin cancer
The National Cancer Institute estimates melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, will cause 76,000 cases and 9,000 American deaths this year, according to a release from DeLauro’s office.
Research has found that the risk of melanoma increases by 75% when people start using tanning beds before age 35, states the release.
More than three years ago, an FDA advisory committee recommended reclassifying tanning beds to better reflect their risk, DeLauro said.
“Having a carcinogenic product easily available to minors is unacceptable and we must ensure strong performance standards are in place to better protect consumers,” she said.
Speaking out on the issue
DeLauro has repeatedly called for FDA action on tanning beds, including:
— Supporting a bipartisan amendment that would have required the FDA to reclassify tanning beds.
— Sending multiple letters to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, urging the agency to appropriately label and classify tanning beds.
— Giving a speech urging the FDA to reclassify tanning beds in order to better inform the public about the health risk they pose.
— Highlighting a report by the journal Lancet Oncology concluding the ultraviolet light used in tanning beds is as carcinogenic as asbestos, radium, arsenic and cigarettes.
More information on the proposed FDA standards can be found at www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm350864.htm.
DeLauro, a Democrat from New Haven, has represented the Third Congressional District since 1991. Shelton is divided between two congressional districts. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, also a Democrat, represents the Fourth District that covers other parts of Shelton.