FDA is changing rules on sunscreen labeling

    11:11 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Summertime is officially in high gear, and it's time for fun in the sun, but when you go outdoors, you should be careful because you might not be as well protected from the sun as you might think.

    When you go to buy sunscreen, your favorite bottle may not look the same as it did last year. Whether you prefer water-proof, SPF 70, or an aerosol can, the FDA is making changes. Consumers should be paying extra attention the fine print for protection that's essential.

    "Under the new labeling rules, they'll have to be labeled broad-spectrum if they provide both UVA and UVB protection. UVB is the primary cause of skin cancer," said Lisa Washburn, an assistant health professor for the Cooperative Extension Office. "It went into effect December of 2012, but retailers are still allowed to sell products made before that point. You may still see some products that don't have the markings."

    Even if your kids may like the spray on sunscreen better, Washburn said that may be changing, too.

    "The FDA is considering a rule that won't allow an SPF claim over 50, so the maximum will be a 50 plus symbol," Washburn added. "People are worried if they're sunscreen has expired, and they need to toss it. It'll last 3 years, but in reality, if you're using sunscreen like you're supposed to, you shouldn't be carrying in over from season to season."

    Seth Morrill is a 20-something lifeguard who's spent many hours under the sun keeping swimmers safe in the water. He's also concerned for when they hop out.

    "I see when they get here. They put it on, depending on how long they stay, but I don't ever see people getting out of the pool to reapply and put it back on," he said.

    The next time you head out, don't be fooled by the SPF 100. Also you'll want to look for the broad-spectrum protection that covers both UVA and UVB rays.

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