New sunscreen regulations aim to block out confusion


WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Your bottle of sunscreen will soon look different. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration introduced new guidelines today. The new rules will tell consumers just how well products protect against cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.

The FDA’s concern is that some products may not tell the whole truth when it comes to protecting you. The new guidelines would even prevent companies from using phrases like water-proof and “sweatproof.”

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“For years we have been dealing with the problem that so many people are using sunscreen, and the problem with sunscreen is that they don’t know whether they have been getting good protection or not,” dermatologist Dr. Jonathan Crane said.

The FDA’s new guidelines, though, should make it easier.

Sunscreens will have to protect equally against two kinds of rays, UVA and UVB, to earn the right to say the product is “broad spectrum.”

“The UVB, you know where exactly you may stand, because with UVB protection it has 15, 30, 45, 60. The higher the number the better,” Crane said. “But then with the ultraviolet A rays there’s been no rating system, so certain companies will claim that they have good ultraviolet protection, but the reality is that they don’t have any good protection.”

Companies can no longer claim their product is waterproof or sweatproof. Water resistant will be allowed, but would have to claim in minutes the amount of time the product is effective.

So what do consumers think of the new rules?

“They’re probably right,” Maria Kolar, who uses so-called waterproof sunscreen said. “I just like to believe that it is water proof.”

Kolar and her friends say they’re all for the new guidelines knowing that the FDA’s focus is on cancer prevention. But some beachgoer’s think the new rules are not needed…

“(SPF) 15, the 25, they all work fine,” Cindy Niquiporo said while catching some rays at Wrightsville Beach. “The waterproof, it seems to me the regulations are in order.”

These new rules go into effect next year. Until then, dermatologists say the best sunscreen you can use is one that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

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