Utah passes ASDSA SUNucate legislation, protecting kids from skin cancer

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Governor Gary Herbert signs ASDSA law that eliminates barriers prohibiting students from posessing and using over-the-counter sunscreen.

SUNucate

SUNucate

Utah has set a great example early on this year by passing this legislation, which highlights the importance of sun protection for our children.

Utah recently became the first state to pass legislation supported by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) which ensures that children are protected from dangerous sun exposure while at school. Since being signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert, legislatures in the states of Alabama, Arizona and Washington have also approved similar measures.

The law, deemed SUNucate, eliminates barriers prohibiting students from possessing and using over-the-counter sunscreen by exempting these products from requirements implemented by broad reaching ‘medication bans’, such as the need for a physician’s note or prescription. ASDSA applauds Representative Craig Hall and Senator Jacob Anderegg, sponsors of House Bill 288, for their leadership on the issue and thanks both the legislature and Governor for their support of the efforts to help protect children from skin cancer.

“Utah has set a great example early on this year by passing this legislation, which highlights the importance of sun protection for our children. Creating a culture of sun-safe behavior in our youth is an important part of how we can reduce the risk of skin cancer,” said ASDSA President Thomas E. Rohrer, MD. “As dermatologic surgeons, we must help the public understand the real risks of excessive sun exposure and how to mitigate them.”

The impetus for SUNucate were raised by dermatologists, dermatologic surgeons and members of the media who noted that children were being required to bring a prescription from a physician in order to possess or use sunscreen at their school or camp (sunscreen is classified as an over-the-counter drug by the FDA). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Preventive Services Task Force both believe that children should have access to sunscreen and other sun-protective measures in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

“This is excellent news for all of Utah, and I hope that more states will follow its lead,” said ASDSA State Affairs Chair Terrence Cronin, Jr., MD. “Increasing access to sunscreen in schools is an important step in the uphill battle against skin cancer. We hope that our youth will also be allowed to wear sun-protective clothing, including hats, while outdoors and to also be educated on why being in the sun without adequate protection can be dangerous.”

ASDSA has worked with multiple medical/health care organizations, patient groups and industry partners – such as the American Medical Association, members of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and the Personal Care Products Council – to show state legislators the need for this measure which will protect school-aged children. Encouraging states to allow for the regular and routine use of sunscreen at schools without a prescription is key to reducing skin cancer in the United States. To find more information on SUNucate visit asdsa.asds.net/SUNucate.

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About the ASDSA
With a membership of 6,100+ physicians, ASDSA is a 501(c) (6) association, dedicated to education and advocacy on behalf of dermatologic surgeons and their patients. For more information, visit http://asdsa.asds.net.

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Kristin Hellquist
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