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Doctor: Prom isn't a good reason to hit the tanning bed

Updated: Friday, May 30 2014, 06:35 PM EDT

By: Associated Press and NEWS9

Tanning beds and sun lamps will carry new warnings that they should not be used by anyone under age 18, part of a government action announced Thursday aimed at reducing skin cancer linked to the radiation-emitting devices.

The Food and Drug Administration has regulated tanning machines for over 30 years, but the agency is now requiring more prominent warnings about the cancer risks of indoor tanning.

Dr. Jondavid Pollock, radiation oncologist at Wheeling Hospital's Schiffler Cancer Center, said he believes the new rules will save lives.

"Tanning beds are awful," said Pollock. "one of the scary things is that most people attribute melanoma to being outside all the time, but we don't have as much sun as some places and people think it's a good thing-- but they're getting around that 'good thing' by sitting in tanning beds."

An estimated 2.3 million U.S. teenagers tan indoors each year-- putting them at 10 times the risk for developing three types of skin cancer.

Companies will have roughly 15 months to place the warning labels on devices already used in tanning facilities but no longer marketed. Companies looking to sell new devices will have to comply with the new labeling and premarket review requirements in 90 days.

Pollock said if you want to be tan try a self-tanner.

"If you have an event, prom, a first-date, or a wedding get a spray tan," said Pollock.

Wheeling Hospital held an oncology conference Friday. The conference focused on the current trends in skin cancer.

Doctor: Prom isn't a good reason to hit the tanning bed

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