In case you missed it, the FDA has released their new sunscreen rules, which of course Environmental Working Group (EWG), and others, are calling too little, too late – but honestly, before this we had less, so, I guess it’s better than nothing.
Here’s a little video the FDA made to explain their idea of sunscreen safety (notice the lack of chemical discussion):
The final regulations become effective in one year and include…
- Establishing a standard test for over-the-counter sunscreen products that will determine which products are allowed to be labeled as “Broad Spectrum.”
- Products that pass the “Broad Spectrum” test will need to provide protection against both ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) and ultraviolet A radiation (UVA). Note, as previously discussed, sunburns are primarily caused by UVB, while both UVB and UVA can cause sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging.
- Under the new regulations, sunscreen products that protect against all types of sun-induced skin damage will be labeled “Broad Spectrum” and “SPF 15” (or higher) on the front.
- Sunscreen products that are not broad spectrum or that have SPF values from 2 to 14 will be labeled with a warning that reads: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
- Manufacturers will no longer be able to claim that sunscreens are “waterproof” or “sweatproof, or identify their products as “sunblocks.”
Here’s a video about the new rules:
Not surprisingly, the new FDA rules fail to address toxicity of sunscreen ingredients but again, that’s not a shock and still we’re coming out ahead of where we were in the past with sunscreen safety.