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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Oct;49(4):655-61.

Tanning facility use: are we exceeding Food and Drug Administration limits?

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.



The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends exposure limits for tanning bed use. Tanning patrons may not be following these recommendations and may be overexposed to damaging ultraviolet radiation (UV).


This study was conducted to assess tanning patrons' adherence to FDA-recommended exposure limits and to measure the amount of UVA and UVB radiation emitted by tanning beds.


A community-based survey was administered during routine state inspections of North Carolina tanning facilities (n = 50). At each facility, patron records were randomly selected (n = 483) for a survey of exposure records, and UVA and UVB outputs were measured for each tanning bed.


The recommended limits were exceeded by 95% of patrons, and 33% of patrons began tanning at the maximum doses recommended for maintenance tanning. Average tanning bed output was 192.1 W/m(2) UVA and 0.35 W/m(2) erythemally weighted UVB.


Interventions for tanning bed operators and patrons are needed to increase compliance with federally recommended exposure limits.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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