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It's not summer just yet, but some big changes may be coming for sunscreen products.
On Thursday (Feb. 21), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was proposing new sunscreen regulations aimed at improving the safety and effectiveness of these essential summer products. The proposed rules include updates on which ingredients are considered safe for use in sunscreens, which products can be marketed "broad spectrum," how high the "sun protection factor" (SPF) can be and what information needs to be on the products' labels.
Changes - Update - Types - Ingredients - GRASE
One of the biggest proposed changes is an update to the types of sunscreen ingredients that are classified "generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE)," a term that means the ingredient doesn't need to be approved by the FDA to be marketed.
Of the 16 currently marketed active ingredients in sunscreen, only two — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — would be considered GRASE under the new proposal. Due to safety concerns, two other ingredients, PABA and trolamine salicylate, would not be considered GRASE, the FDA said. For the other 12 ingredients, there is currently not enough data to determine whether they are GRASE. So, the FDA is asking the sunscreen industry for additional evidence so it can evaluate those ingredients' safety and effectiveness.
FDA - Ability - Sunscreens - Ultraviolet - A
The FDA is also concerned about the ability of some sunscreens to protect against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. This type of radiation doesn't necessarily cause sunburns — as is the case with another type of radiation, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays — but UVA rays may cause skin aging and increase the risk of skin cancer.
The new rules propose that any sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher should also provide "broad-spectrum protection," meaning that they protect against both UVA and UVB...
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