FDA Cracks Down on Sunscreen Manufacturers

New rules about SPF can help you decide what to buy now.

Jun 15, 2011
Outside Magazine

The Food and Drug Administration—after 33 years of deliberation—is finally cracking down on sunscreens that embellish SPF ratings and fail to provide protection from ultraviolet A rays, the ones scientists think may cause cancer. Most sunblocks provide protection from UVB rays, which cause sunburn, but many don't block the more-dangerous UVA rays. Beginning next summer, sunscreens with both broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage, plus an SPF rating of between 15 and 50, will get the administration's seal of approval. The FDA doesn't believe a rating of greater than SPF 50 is possible and will ask sunscreen manufacturers to cap the number there. Claims that sunscreens are water- and sweat-proof, which FDA scientists call "exaggerations," will also be prohibited. 

Read More from the Associated Press.

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