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Environmental connections to public health >>

Congress Moves Closer to Improving Sunscreens Available to Americans

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

 

Congress moved a step closer to improving the sunscreens available to American consumers this week (July 28) when the House of Representatives passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act. The bill would expedite the Food and Drug Administration’s process for reviewing new sunscreen ingredients while ensuring that it has the authority to keep unsafe products off the market.

In a nice piece of timing, just a day later the U.S. Surgeon General has issued a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, which lays out a plan for clear, concrete steps to combat this growing public health concern.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act now goes to Senate, which is expected to take it up in September.

With skin cancer rates on the rise, it’s important to stay safe in the sun by seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.

You should not make sunscreen your only protection, but sunscreens with safe ingredients that provide balanced UVA and UVB protection may lower the risk of skin cancer and long-term skin damage. EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens has been rating sunscreens every year since 2007, and each time the report finds that roughly half the products on the U.S. market are unlikely to provide even the minimum level of protection required in Europe.

Currently, eight new sunscreen chemicals are under review at the FDA, and six of them have been awaiting a decision for more than eight years. The FDA has never acted on promising sunscreen ingredients that have been sold for years in Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada, limiting the sunscreen options for American consumers.

With the passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act, we hope that more products will come on the market with safer and more effective ingredients, helping to protect people as they enjoy their time in the sun.

EWG applauds the House for passing, and Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) for introducing, the Sunscreens Innovation Act, and we hope that the Senate will follow their lead.

 

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