Environmental connections to public health >>
Coming Soon to a Store Near You: Better Sunscreens
Partisan gridlock has been rising almost as fast as the staggering rates of skin cancer diagnoses and deaths.
That’s why EWG is so pleased that Congress was able to come together to pass the Sunscreen Innovation Act, which President Obama signed into law this month. This long awaited and much needed step will ensure better access to safer, more effective sunscreens.
Several highly effective active ingredients that have long been used in sunscreens sold in Canada and Europe are not available in the U.S. because the Food and Drug Administration has had a longstanding backlog of new ingredients awaiting review. This new law will alleviate that logjam and should finally give Americans access to products that better protect them from the dangers of sun exposure.
EWG has repeatedly urged the FDA to complete its review of these promising ingredients. Faced with the government’s persistent inaction, in 2007 EWG began publishing its annual Guide to Sunscreens to help consumers find safer, better products for themselves and their families.
The Sunscreen Innovation Act is a huge success for these advocacy efforts. But the fight for sun safety does not end here.
Too few Americans report using sunscreen frequently, and too many depend on sunscreen alone to protect them from damaging ultraviolet rays. The best defenses against getting too much harmful UV radiation are protective clothing, sunglasses, shade and timing outdoor activity carefully.
EWG is continuing to work with lawmakers and sunscreen makers to educate Americans about the importance of sun safety. We hope that with this new law and increased awareness, we can reverse the drastically rising rates of skin cancer.