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FDA Proposes New Rules for Sunscreens
Date:8/23/2007

ant at this time, because scientific data demonstrates that both have harmful effects on the skin," the agency said.

The proposed ratings system for UVA sunscreens would rate them on a scale of one to four stars. One star for low UVA protection, two stars medium protection, three stars high protection, and four stars the highest protection available in an over-the-counter sunscreen. If a sunscreen does not have at least one star of protection, the agency would require that the product have a "no UVA protection" marking on the label near the SPF value.

Ratings for UVA would be based on two tests. The first measures the sunscreen's ability to reduce the amount of UVA radiation that passes through it. The second measures a product's ability to prevent tanning. This test is similar to the SPF test used to determine the effectiveness of sunscreens to block UVB rays, according to the FDA.

Sunscreens would carry a "Warnings" statement in the "Drug Facts" box. The warning will say that "UV exposure from the sun increases the risk of skin cancer, premature skin aging, and other skin damage. It is important to decrease UV exposure by limiting time in the sun, wearing protective clothing, and using a sunscreen."

In addition, the label would also warn that "UV exposure from the sun increases the risk of skin cancer, premature skin aging and other skin damage. It is important to decrease UV exposure by limiting time in the sun, wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen." Directions would tell people to reapply sunscreen "at least every 2 hours."

The intent of the warning is to alert consumers that sunscreen is only a part of protecting yourself from sun exposure, Holman said.

According to the FDA, the proposal has guidelines for testing that manufacturers need to do to support their claims. Under the rule, sunscreens could have a maximum SPF of 50+ unless test data shows that a higher number is warranted.


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