Will majority of the Sunscreens Fail to Meet FDA’s Proposed Safety Standards?

Environmental Working Group’s new report reveals that two-thirds of sunscreen products would flunk safety tests proposed by the FDA in February 2019.

According to an analysis included a new report by US non-profit Environmental Working Group, almost two-thirds of all sunscreens likely to flunk FDA’s safety test which was proposed in February 2019. Environmental Working Group will release the result after an in-depth analysis to check the adequacy of sun protection or whether they contain any harmful chemicals.

For 2019, the non-profit organization said that it completed an analysis of the performance and ingredients of over 1,300 sunscreens with sun protection factor (SPF). Out of these, 750 were sold as sport or beach sunscreens. The analysis includes only a small number of all sunscreens marketed in the US.

“Although our organization has come up with similar results in its guide previously, it is really strong to compare it to the actual standards proposed by the FDA. So it is a huge deal that the fact that 60% of the market would not be seemingly considered effective and safe by the FDA,” said Nneka Leiba, Director at Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living Science (source).

A common sunscreen ingredient has been linked to severe health problems

According to Leiba, the analysis of 2019 products with the help of FDA’s proposed safety guidelines makes the 2019 Guide to Sunscreens report different. FDA’s regulation of sunscreen ingredients will prove extremely helpful in evaluating sunscreen products, which are one of the primary choices of people when it comes to sun protection.

“Until the FDA introduced some rules defining how to label sunscreens and how to test them, we could not even have certainty about what was in the product,” said American Cancer Society’s Acting Medical Director, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld.

The FDA proposed an additional test for several common sunscreen ingredients in February 2019. This came after the FDA found that it only takes a day’s use of sunscreen for high levels of octocrylene, ecamsule, oxybenzone, and avobenzone to enter the person’s blood. Moreover, these chemicals stayed in the person’s body for a minimum duration of 24 hours. Oxybenzone, one of the most-studied sunscreen ingredients, has been linked to disrupted birth weights, shorter pregnancies, hormone changes and lower testosterone in males, and other health problems.

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