The PJ Tatler

Senate Dems are All Over the Sunscreen War

Democrats are concerned this week that Americans are going to burned — on the beach, at least.

“As we go into the summer beach season, consumers must have access to clear and consistent information about their sunscreen purchases,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said at a press conference yesterday at the UConn Health Center to urge the Food and Drug Administration to take additional measures to protect consumers and require better accuracy regarding sun protection factor labeling.

The FDA recently enacted new rules requiring sunscreen with an SPF lower than 15 to warn that it won’t protect against skin cancer and all sunscreens must say “water resistant” with a time limit noted rather than “water resistant.”

“It is alarming and appalling that sunscreen makers have been allowed for years to make misleading claims about the protection they offer, and I applaud the FDA for finally taking action to stop this abuse,” Blumenthal said.

“While recent actions by the FDA are a major step forward, and will undoubtedly improve health and save lives, there are still improvements that must be made, particularly regarding the accuracy of sun protection factor labeling.”

Democrats submitted four bills in the last Congress trying to crack down on sunscreen abuse.

Last week Senate Dems urged the FDA to require further labeling accuracy with regards to “sun protection factors.”

“When Americans purchase and use over-the-counter sunscreen products they assume they are protected from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but the current protection that they are afforded could be misleading or worse inaccurate. For example, aerosol-based products are becoming more popular among consumers, but may not provide the same level of protection from the sun as lotion-based products. In addition, there are some sunscreen lotions and sprays that continue to use increasingly higher SPF numbers even though researchers have found higher numbers do not always correlate with proportionately stronger protection. For instance, one product with an SPF of 30 was found to protect against 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays, while a product labeled with a SPF of 100 may protect against 99 percent of the sun’s rays. Lastly, it is our understanding that the FDA has yet to approve, let alone review, new ingredients for sunscreen that may offer stronger protection against the sun’s rays,” they wrote.