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Health Watchdog Group Shines Harsh Light on New FDA Sunscreen Regulations

The summer season is officially underway, and whether you live in sunny South Florida or not, things are starting to heat up all over the globe. Warmer weather means more time spent in outdoor activities, as well as swimming and poolside lounging. Although we all generally welcome a bronzy summer glow, the consequences of spending too much time in the sun have been well documented. 

 

Sunscreen products have recently undergone FDA scrutiny after 30 years of overstated claims to consumers. So what do these new regulations entail? We’ll explain below, along with some publicized criticism by prominent health advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The Food and Drug Administration has deliberated for decades with intentions "to help eliminate misleading claims about sun protection factors, water resistance, and cancer and wrinkle prevention," as CBS News reported on Tuesday. 

While the FDA's actions have helped to limit misleading claims made by sunscreen companies, EWG representatives note that the new rules include a weak standard for protection from UVA rays. Currently, the term “SPF” applied solely to a product’s ability to block UVB rays, the main cause of sunburns; but UVA rays contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. 

The new rules will establish a standard for over-the-counter sunscreens that will determine which products can be labeled as “Broad Spectrum,” or, those that provide protection against both UVB and UVA radiation. The CBS article references Dr. David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Washington, D.C.-based group, as saying, "FDA's action offers some noticeable improvements for consumers, such as limiting misleading claims. However, it is clear that FDA caved to industry and weakened its safety standards." 

For more information on the new regulations, as well as feedback from the EWG, read Fast Company’s detailed article here. Summer weather invites us to enjoy the great outdoors with warm weather and lazy days in the sun, but it’s always important to wear sunscreen, and to be well informed about new regulations that shine a light on long-standing misleading claims. 

Skin cancer is an ever growing concern, with melanoma rates growing by nearly half from 1992 to 2004 in the U.S. alone. If you have any suspicions, it is important to schedule an appointment with your physician. Having quality health insurance is more important than ever before in the current economical landscape. 

Let MHG Insurance Brokers help you find the best individual or group health insurance policy for you, your family and/or your business. Contact us today at the location nearest you to find out more about group and individual health insurance today.