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FDA Revitalizes Suntan Lotion Label Requirements


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FDA Revitalizes Suntan Lotion Label Requirements

The Food and Drug Administration recently pushed back the date over the counter sunscreen products have to change their labels by six months. The products have until December 17, 2012, to comply with changes ordered by the FDA.

Certain sunscreens protect against burns without fighting against wrinkles. Others protect against both. Ultraviolet A rays are responsible for causing wrinkles; however, most products only protect against UVB rays that cause sunburns. The FDA only had ratings in place for UVB-protectant lotions until recently, when it decided to require product labels to reflect new standards.

Those changes include: limiting the maximum sun protection factor to 50; removing any claims that a product is "waterproof," "sweatproof" or is a "sunblock." In addition, labels cannot say the product will last longer than two hours after initial application unless they provide evidence to the FDA supporting that claim and receive approval.

Protective lotions that want to be labeled as "broad spectrum" - they protect against both UVA and UVB - will also be required to pass a test. The FDA said broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher will feature labels that inform users the product can help protect against sunburn, and, if used appropriately with other measures, may reduce the risk of early aging.

The new labels should help consumers make more informed decisions when they purchase protective sunscreens.