FTC to Make Tanning Beds Settlement Permanent

The FTC is set to make the settlement permanent with the Indoor Tanning Association. The settlement will ban false health and safety information by the Association.

Online PR News – 07-March-2010 – – Minneapolis, MN, March 6--Having reached a settlement forbidding the Indoor Tanning Association to make false health and safety claims in its advertising regarding tanning beds dangers, the Federal Trade Commission is now set to vote on making the settlement permanent.
The action came in response to an advertising campaign undertaken in March, 2008 by the Indoor Tanning Association that attempted to portray tanning beds as safe and beneficial.
Specifically, the Indoor Tanning Association claimed that
• Indoor tanning is approved by the government;
• Indoor tanning is safer than tanning outdoors because the amount of ultraviolet light received when tanning indoors is monitored and controlled;
• Research shows that vitamin D supplements may harm the body’s ability to fight disease; and
• A National Academy of Sciences study determined that “the risks of not getting enough ultraviolet light far outweigh the hypothetical risk of skin cancer.”

Under the terms of the settlement with the Commission, the Indoor Tanning Association is prohibited from:
• Making the misrepresentations challenged in the complaint,
• From misrepresenting any tests or studies, and
• From providing deceptive advertisements to members.
The settlement also requires that future association ads that make safety or health benefits claims for indoor tanning can not be misleading and must be substantiated. Further, the order requires that certain future advertisements from the association contain disclosures. Ads that make claims about the safety or health benefits of indoor tanning are required to clearly and prominently make this disclosure: “Exposure to ultraviolet radiation may increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer and can cause serious eye injury.”

"Tanning beds dangers are very well known," said Mary Barrow, executive director of SunAWARE, a Minneapolis-based skin cancer prevention and detection organization. "Studies show that even one exposure to tanning beds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%. Our hope is that the settlement will deter people, especially young people, from using tanning beds."

The settlement was agreed to on January 26, 2010 and was followed by a 30 day public comment period that ended February 26, 2010. The commission is shortly expected to vote on making the settlement permanent.