da and kids on beach

This is the first summer in which FDA's new rules governing sunscreen labeling are in effect. 

A new important requirment is that manufactoruers are required to do testing and labeling that identifies sunscreens that are "broad spectrum," meaning they offer protection against both UVB and UVA rays.  Products should list "broad spectrum" on the fornt of the package to help consumers identify the one which provide the most protection.

All sunscreen products offer protection against UVB rays, which are the primary cause of sunburn. But both UVB and UVA rays contribute to sun-induced skin cancer and premature skin aging.

Addtional protections include:

  • Sunscreens that are not broad spectrum or that lack an SPF of at least 15 must now carry a warning: "Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging."
  • If a product' claims to be water resistant, it must designate whether it's protective for 40 or for 80 minutes while swimming or sweating.
  • Manufacturers may no longer make claims that their sunscreens are "waterproof" or "sweatproof."
  • Products may no longer be identified as "sunblocks" or claim instant protection or protection for more than two hours without reapplying.

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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