Washington — The Food and Drug Administration has released new sunscreen regulations requiring products to pass effectiveness tests and carry labels designed to make choosing the proper sunscreen easier for consumers, the online Wall Street Journal reports.
The new regulations will, for example, require products that are labeled “broad spectrum” — as are many currently marketed ones — to pass tests for protection against both UVB and UVA rays. The sun protection factor (SPF) numbers currently on sunscreen labels are based on how well and how long the product protects against UVB rays — which primarily cause sunburn — but not against UVA rays. Both types contribute to wrinkles and skin cancer.
The new regulations further state that sunscreens offering insufficient protection against UVB and UVA rays will be required to carry a warning label noting that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer. Sunscreens that pass the new broad spectrum tests and receive an SPF rating of at least 15 will be allowed to carry labels stating that they reduce the risks of skin cancer and signs of early skin aging if used as directed and in combination with other sun-protection measures.
Companies with annual sales of less than $25,000 will have two years to comply with the new regulations, while larger companies will have a year.