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FDA Issues New Rules on Sunscreens
Date:6/14/2011

e don't want to give the impression that complete protection is provided."

In addition, sunscreens can no longer claim they protect for more than two hours, without approval from the FDA, Woodcock said. The products will also no longer be allowed to state that they are waterproof and sweat-proof. Products can, however, claim to be water-resistant for 40 to 80 minutes. The amount of time the product remains effective must be stated on the label, Woodcock added.

One expert applauded the FDA move.

"Consumers need simplified and user-friendly guidelines to help them choose an effective sunscreen. The new guidelines will make it easier for dermatologists to make recommendations about sunscreens and for consumers to choose an effective sunscreen to protect their skin," said Dr. Jennifer A. Stein, assistant professor in the department of dermatology at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. "These new guidelines are a major step in the right direction to help better protect Americans from the dangers of sunburn and helping them reduce their risk of developing skin cancer in their lifetime."

Dr. Jeffrey C. Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, said, "The new FDA guidelines for sunscreens reflect the confusion for both consumers and health professionals in the realm of sunscreen efficacy."

"It is welcome news that the term 'Broad Spectrum' now specifically endorses the concept of UVA and UVB protection in a sunscreen product," said Salomon.

The FDA is also proposing another rule that would limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to "50+". The reason: SPF values above 50 have not been shown to give any better protection than an SPF 50 product, Woodcock said.

The agency is asking the public to submit data on the effectiveness and safety of sunscreen sprays and to suggest possible warnings that might be applied to the labels of these products. It is also providing
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