June 17, 2011 by  

FDA requiring New Labels on Sunscreens!

Did you even know there was a possibility you weren’t being protected against skin cancer if you used a sunscreen? I didn’t!


I read an article yesterday and also saw on the news where there were going to be new regulations on the labels of sunscreen products by next year.

I had no idea there were issues with the labels. There seems to be so many to choose from, waterproof, Paba Free, spf 20-70, sunblock, etc.  I never thought that we were not being given all the information we needed to protect ourselves from sunburns and skin cancer. I didn’t know that the sunscreens differentiated in that they may protect you from wrinkles and not skin cancer if they were the same spf.

I am especially concerned with the skin cancers.  Many of you who follow me know that I recently had to have a skin graft on my nose due to a basal cell cancer removed.  My bigger fear is the high risk I have of getting melanoma. My mom passed away from it and I’ve had many abnormal moles removed to this point.

These are some things that I learned from the article I read in the June 15,2011 USA Today front page newspaper. The article was written by Liz Szabo, but this break down list is in my own words from what I read out of her article.

The FDA announced that sunscreens will have new labels by summer of 2012.

The FDA have wanted to change the labels since 1978.

The labels will have to state which sunscreens give “broad protection” from both of the biggest forms of UV rays (ultraviolet radiation)

UVA causes wrinkles – can cause skin cancer

UVB causes burns – can cause skin cancer

SPF only measures burn protection

To pass test for new labels and state they are “broad spectrum”they have to have spf of 15 and pass the FDA tests for UVA rays.

Products that don’t protect against UVA, or have spf of less than 15 will have to have a warning on them that they don’t protect against skin cancer.

Sunscreens will also have to have a “drug facts” box with more info in it.

The sunscreens that say “Broad Spectrum” now – we have no way to really know if they are because there has been no formal standard.

They will no longer be able to say they are – “Sunblock”, “sweat-proof” or “water-proof”!

They are only going to be able to claim whether they are “water-resistant” for 40 or 80 minutes.

That really floored me!  I guess I have been thinking all this time that if I have an spf sunblock on myself or the kids that we WERE protected against skin cancer.  Now I’m hearing that maybe we were… maybe we weren’t.
I have to say that it ticks me off a bit that the general public didn’t know that there wasn’t a standard in place, that there was even a possibility that we might not be protected completely by these sunscreens.

I’m glad the changes are being made so that we can be sure that ourselves and our children are being protected the way we thought we were always protected previously.



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