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Editor's Note
February 2015

We Can See the (Risks of UV) Light

JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(2):311-312. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6703

In the United States, it has been estimated that in the past year more than one-third of adults used indoor tanning facilities, exposing themselves to high-pressure sunlamp products that emit UV light and radiation.1 Rates exceeded 50% among university students and were nearly 20% among adolescents. Unfortunately, it has taken years for the cultural mystique of the “healthy tan” to be replaced by an informed understanding of the risks of tanning, both indoor and outdoor, including premature skin aging, eye damage, and melanoma and other skin cancers.2 Citing these risks in 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration reclassified sunlamp products from a low-risk device (class I) to a moderate-risk device (class II) requiring premarket notification through the 510k clearance process; the agency also strongly cautioned against the use of these products among children younger than 18 years.

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