Sunscreen rules finally released

Jul 13, 2011

New suncreen regulations announced

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are announcing stricter guidelines for sunscreen manufacturers, according to the Associated Press. The FDA has spent the last 33 years deciding whether or not to impose new standards for these products, requiring that they provide a minimal amount of protection from the sun.

Under the current rules, SPF only refers to protection from sunburn causing UVB rays, not UVA rays, which cause cancer, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The number of people diagnosed with melanoma nearly doubled between 1992 and 2004, possibly causing an increase in life insurance claims.

The new regulations, which go into effect next summer, will require SPF to refer to both forms of ultraviolet rays. Additionally, no product will be allowed to claim it is waterproof because sun protection cannot withstand water, ABC reports. There will also be a cap of 50 on SPF because there is no evidence of protection for SPF greater than that.

"FDA's rule will allow most products on the U.S. market to use the label 'broad spectrum sunscreen,' even though some will not offer enough protection to assure Americans they can stay in the sun without suffering skin damage from invisible UVA radiation,” David Andrews, a senior scientist with Environmental Working Group, told the media outlet.

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