Sunscreens Get New Labeling Rules
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released long-awaited sunscreen regulations Tuesday (June 12) requiring products to pass certain effectiveness tests and adopt new labels designed to make it easier for consumers to choose a sunscreen.
The SPF (sun-protection factor) number on sunscreens is currently based on how well and how long the product protects against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays that primarily cause sunburn, not UVA rays. Both types of rays contribute to wrinkles and skin cancer. The new regulations will require products that are labeled “broad spectrum” – as is the case with many currently marketed ones – to pass tests for both UVB and UVA rays.