More than a million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. The incidence of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of the disease, is escalating. Effective sunscreens are crucial to public health. But EWG’s investigation reveals that they may be hard to find: * 59 sunscreens with SPFs from 55-100+ might tempt you to stay out longer in the sun, but they block just 1-2% more sunburn rays than an SPF 30 sunscreen. * Hundreds of all-day moisturizers advertise SPF protection, but 1 in 5 offers little protection from harmful UVA rays. Some break down well before the day’s end. A surprising new government report attributes an increasing incidence of malignant melanoma among people who work indoors to UVA rays shining through windows onto unprotected skin. * Lip cancer is most common on the bottom lip where sun exposure is most direct. Two of 5 lip balms offer poor UVA protection. One plus for 2009: 19% fewer sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor approved by FDA as an active ingredient in sunscreen.
Few sunscreens live up to their advertising claims, and the federal government is powerless to make them. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been promising to regulate sunscreens since 1978, when gasoline was 63 cents a gallon and the BeeGees’ “Saturday Night Fever” topped the charts.
Thirty plus years has gone by without action. Tired of delays and excuses?
Take action: ask FDA to do its job and issue some sunscreen regulations with teeth. email FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.
In the meantime, EWG’s research team has created this comprehensive guide listing 82 recommended products and other sun safety tips to help you and your family have fun in the sun safely.
Check out your favorites and see how they rate. You will probably be as surprised as I was. Thanks so much for this detailed evaluation.
Image courtesy of http://www.bertagnolli.net/mandalay.2002.05/sunscreen.jpg