Even though summer is officially behind us for yet another year, it’s still quite pertinent for us to be talking about sunscreen and the protection that it provides our skin from harsh rays. Unfortunately, sunscreen is viewed as only a summer time necessity, when in actuality, protecting the skin should be a year round habit (yes, even in the harsh cold of winter).
Until this bill was passed, it was always normal and accepted protocol for ingredients on the labels of sunscreen bottles to list only the ingredients that had been fully approved for the sunscreen itself. This left many ingredients within the sunscreen to be omitted from the label, many of which have side effects and are not fully accepted or up to health codes, but are obviously still allowed to be put into the sunscreen in small amounts.
Now, the Senate is requiring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to properly label and list all ingredients within the sunscreen; this is an important factor in helping to ensure that consumers are current and up to date in all of the ways that they are better able to protect their skin from cancer-causing UVA rays.
This comes about even in the wake of increasing numbers of skin-related ailments and cancers. In fact, skin cancer is the number one cancer that is diagnosed in the U.S.; this being said, there are eight sunscreen ingredients that are still pending in the FDA backlog, some for as long as a decade or more.
The large number of proponents for sunscreen modernization are pleased that this bipartisan bill has passed. Entitled the Sunscreen Innovation Act, the bill, makes it mandatory for the FDA to respond to and acknowledge all sunscreen ingredients, even those that are classed as only potential.
The regulation process for ingredients, materials and proper information and labeling is one that has long since been looked at for an upgrade. With so many different and varying rules for each ingredient, putting together a comprehensive list can often take a long time, even long after the product is on the market. In European countries, ingredients are regulated and labeled as cosmetics; however, in the U.S., sunscreens are labeled as drugs, thanks to the ingredients that they contain. So, because of this, the approval process is much longer and has far more safety requirements.
So, thanks to bills such as this one now being put into place, we can become more informed, safer, and hopefully protect ourselves better, and ward off instances of easily preventable ailments such as skin cancer.
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