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Basic Tanning Certification
Indoor Salon Certification
Regulatory Information
Business Resources
Basic Tanning Certification Chapters
Your Skin, The Largest Organ
Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation
Tanning Lamps, A Brief Description
The Tanning Process

Understanding MED and MMD

Determining an Exposure Schedule
Risks of Overexposure
State and Federal Regulations
Understanding Eye Protection
Equipment Sanitation
Equipment Operating Procedures
Tanning Salon Professionalism

Chapter 10
State and Federal Regulations

· State

In addition to various state and local tanning regulations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) share the responsibility of regulating sunlamps and tanning devices. The FDA typically enforces regulations that deal with the labeling and manufacturing of tanning devices; the FTC investigates false, misleading and deceptive advertising claims about the devices. When these agencies determine that a label on a tanning unit does not comply with the regulations or that advertisements are not truthful, they have the authority to take corrective action. Ultimately, the FDA can remove products from the marketplace.


Performance Standards For Sunlamps
If the proper procedures are not followed, indoor tanning can have negative consequences. Because of this, the FDA developed stringent rules and regulations that govern the manufacturing and use of devices for indoor tanning.

The initial performance standard for sunlamp products (including tanning units) published in the Federal Register became effective for all tanning devices on May 7, 1980. The regulation was designed primarily to promote the safety of home sunlamps. It was developed after a long period of both public and industry commentary.

When the indoor tanning industry began to boom, the FDA revisited its regulations by completing a further investigation on the use of indoor tanning devices. The FDA became concerned with the potential for injury, since use of the products had resulted in several injuries, ranging from �severe sunburn� from overexposure to the ultraviolet radiation to cuts from broken lamps.

It became apparent that additional safety precautions were needed beyond those required by the standard. Therefore, the standard was amended in 1985; the new version became applicable for all tanning devices manufactured on or after Sept. 8, 1986. All sunlamp products must have a warning label, an accurate timer, an emergency stop control, and include an exposure schedule and protective goggles. To review the Performance Standard for Sunlamp and Sunlamp Product, 21 CFR 1040.20 - click here

Salon owners need to remember that if any products pose a risk to the health of users, the FDA is prepared and authorized to take regulatory action. Safety may be enforced through mandatory or voluntary recalls, injunctions, and imposition of fines or seizure of the products.

Although these regulations were written specifically for manufacturers, salon owners and operators should be familiar with the rules to help them run a secure and more comfortable salon. Knowledge of the regulations also will prove beneficial when educating salon employees and customers.

To view the FDA Laws, Regulations and Standards pertaining to tanning click here

Tanning salon owners and operators are governed by laws that are based at the local, state and federal levels. When discussing federal guidelines, most people realize the FDA is a governing body. Its guidelines typically deal with the recommended manufacturing, labeling and usage of tanning equipment. However, when considering federal rules, all tanning facility owners and operators also fall under additional restrictions enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC enforces a variety of federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. Although some may argue this point, the FTC�s goal is to ensure that the nation�s markets function competitively and are vigorous, efficient and free of undue restrictions.

How the Commission most affects tanning facilities is through its objective to eliminate acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive. According to the Commission, �Efforts are directed toward stopping actions that threaten consumers� opportunities to make informed choices.�

What truth-in-advertising rules apply to advertisers? Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:

1. Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
2. Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
3. Advertisers cannot be unfair.

Additional laws even apply to ads for specialized products such as consumer leases, credit, 900 telephone numbers and products sold through mail order or telephone sales. In addition to FTC guidelines, all states have consumer protection laws that govern ads running in that state.

According to the FTC, here are some claims that should not be made regarding indoor tanning:

�You can achieve a deep year-round tan with safe ultraviolet light.�

�No harsh glare, so no goggles or eye protection is necessary.�

�Tan without the harmful side effects associated with natural sunlight.�

�No danger in exposure to ultraviolet light.�

�Our tanning beds help relieve the pain and discomfort of psoriasis.�

What Makes An Ad Deceptive?
According to the FTC�s Deceptive Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement�or omits information�that:

1. Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and
2. Is �material��that is, important to consumer�s decision to buy or use the product being offered for sale?

The FTC looks at both expressed and implied claims. An expressed claim is literally made in the ad. For example, �Our tanning beds prevent osteoporosis� is an expressed claim that your beds prevent osteoporosis. An implied claim is one that is made indirectly. �Our tanning beds create vitamin D that prevents osteoporosis� contains an implied claim that your beds will prevent osteoporosis. Although your ad may not say that your beds prevent osteoporosis, it would be reasonable for a consumer to conclude from this statement that your beds do prevent osteoporosis.

What You Can Say
Avoiding any and all claims that relate directly or indirectly to any healthful benefit of indoor tanning�or regarding the safety of tanning�is the most prudent thing a salon owner can do. Sometimes finding the correct way to promote the positive aspects of indoor tanning can at first be challenging. However, professional tanning salons across the country have many positive factors that can be promoted without crossing the line of health and safety. Comfort, control, convenience, service and cleanliness are just a few features that are always acceptable in promoting any tanning facility. Below are a few examples that are acceptable in tanning advertising:

�Indoor tanning offers a predictable tanning environment controlled by timers that ensure the accuracy of your tanning session.�
�You can achieve a beautiful year-round tan in the comfortable setting of our tanning salon.�
�Our staff will evaluate your tanning potential using a skin typing chart that determines the most productive tanning session available.�
�Achieve that beautiful golden tan at our salon rain or shine.�

These are just a few suitable statements that are often made in salons� advertisements across the country. Other factors to consider are price, location, hours of operation, exciting new equipment, selections of tanning products and the level of knowledge your staff has about tanning.

If you have questions about claims you can make in your advertising, contact the Federal Trade Commission at (877) FTC-HELP or online at

State Regulations

Please contact your local government regarding your specific state regulations.

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