New Sunscreen Rules Boost Protection

Stricter guidelines for sunscreen manufacturers will help consumers choose the best sun protection, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In one year, sunscreen products will have to pass the FDA’s test for protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in order to carry the label “Broad Spectrum.” Many consumers look to Broad Spectrum sunscreens to prevent sun burn, skin cancer and premature aging.

The “FDA has evaluated the data and developed testing and labeling requirements for sunscreen products, so that manufacturers can modernize their product information and consumers can be well-informed on which products offer the greatest benefit,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock in a news release. Woodcock is the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“These changes to sunscreen labels are an important part of helping consumers have the information they need so they can choose the right sun protection for themselves and their families.”

The new rules also clamp down on sunscreens that have an SPF between 2 and 14 or do not meet the FDA’s standards for broad spectrum. These products will be required to carry a warning label that says the “product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early aging,” according to the news release.

Federal heath authorities recommend people limit their sun exposure to reduce their risk of skin cancer. Consumers should also regularly use and reapply sunscreens that are broad spectrum and have an SPF of 15 or higher.

Source: Food and Drug Administration

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