WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously today to abandon regulations it had considered imposing on the health spa industry for a decade.
Acting Chairman Terry Calvani and Commissioners Patricia Bailey and Mary Azcuemaga voted to end the effort to regulate the nation's 6,000 spas as unnecessary.
"The commission will continue to monitor the health spa industry and to challenge, where appropriate, illegal practices," Calvani said.
Although joining in the 3-0 vote, Bailey said she believes that some type of regulation may be needed to deal with problems in this industry, including high-pressure sales tactics. She suggested the possibility of imposing bonding requirements or cooling-off periods.
The commission acted following a staff recommendation released Tuesday that it drop its effort to regulate the industry.
"Health spas have been a continuing consumer problem in one form or another," Amanda Pedersen, acting director of the commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, told a press briefing. "The challenge is determining what can be done."