Doctors Health Press Reports on New Guidelines from the FDA Regarding SPF Ratings on Sunscreens

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Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on new guidelines released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding sun protection factor (SPF) ratings on sunscreens.

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Doctors Health Press Reports on New Guidelines from the FDA Regarding SPF Ratings on Sunscreens

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Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on new guidelines released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding sun protection factor (SPF) ratings on sunscreens.

As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-2/how-to-choose-the-right-sunscreen) notes, the FDA recently released guidelines on SPF ratings, meant to help discern the effectiveness of sunscreen products and to put a halt to the practice of boosting SPF levels to unrestricted values. The federal agency wants to clear up some of the myths that surround the ability of sunscreens to protect against too much sun exposure.

As the article “How to Choose the Right Sunscreen” reports, there will now be a standard set of tests to determine whether or not a sunscreen can rightfully be labeled “broad spectrum.” Under the new regulations, a broad spectrum sunscreen should protect against both ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) and ultraviolet A radiation (UVA). Although both types of radiation can cause sunburn, skin cancer, and wrinkles, UVB is most likely to cause sunburn. Before the FDA passed its new regulations, sunscreens did not have to provide protection against both forms of radiation—many only shielded against UVB. Any sunscreen that isn’t labeled broad spectrum will only protect against sunburn.

The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article also states that sunscreens with SPF ratings of two to 14 will now come with an alert. The warning will read: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

The article notes that as for sunscreens labeled “water-resistant,” the FDA now requires time limits to be placed on these claims. Manufacturers must tell consumers whether their sunscreen will protect a user for 40 or 80 minutes when swimming or sweating. This is to prevent consumers from assuming they can apply a water-resistant sunscreen and go ahead and swim for hours. The FDA also wants manufacturers to stop using the words “waterproof,” “sweat-proof,” and “sunblock,” as all of these terms lead consumers to believe that they are fully protected from the sun’s radiation indefinitely.

The article concludes by reporting that one final point to consider about the FDA regulations is that the agency is looking to review the effectiveness of spray-on sunscreens compared to creams, as it expressed some concern about inhaling the vapors from spray sunscreens. Until a more definitive answer comes along, Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin suggests that readers choose sunscreen in cream form instead.

(SOURCES: “FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site, last accessed May 21, 2013; Brody, J.E., “Explaining Sunscreen and the New Rules,” New York Times web site, last accessed May 21, 2013.)

Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin is a daily e-letter providing natural health news with a focus on natural healing through foods, herbs, and other breakthrough alternative health treatments. For more information on Doctors Health Press, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com.

Doctors Health Press believes in the healing properties of various alternative remedies, including traditional Chinese medicine. To see a video outlining the Doctors Health Press’ views on traditional Chinese medicine, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/chinesemedicine.

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