FDA Eyes New Sunscreen Labels

Labels would include cancer warning and a rating system
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2007 2:58 PM CDT
FDA Eyes New Sunscreen Labels
RUWAYSHID, JORDAN -- Jordanian Red Cresent worker Kristie Campbell, 25, of Scotland, left, applies sunscreen to a young Somolia girl during a hot and sunny day Wednesday, April 2, 2003, at Camp B in R   (KRT Photos)

The FDA is proposing new regulations for sunscreen labels, added a rating for protection from skin cancer as well as sunburn. Current sunscreen ratings for SPF—sun protection factor—cover only ultraviolet "B" rays, which cause sunburn. The FDA wants to start testing and rating products for ultraviolet "A" rays as well, which are responsible for tanning, but cause skin cancer as well.

The FDA wants to make it clear that UVA and UVB rays are equally dangerous, and that sunscreen should not be used to extend exposure to sun, just because it prevents burning. "UV exposure from the sun increases the risk of skin cancer, premature skin aging, and other skin damage," a proposed warning label would read. (Read more FDA stories.)

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