Sunscreen confusion won't end this summer

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • May 15, 2012 - 3:16 PM

Sunscreen label confusion won’t be over before summer after all. The government is bowing to industry requests for more time to make clear how much protection their lotions really offer.

The Food and Drug Administration ordered changes to sunscreens last summer but gave their makers a year — until this June — to get revised bottles on the shelf.

The changes aimed to finally distinguish which brands protected against both sunburn-causing ultraviolet B rays and the deeper-penetrating ultraviolet A linked to skin cancer and premature aging. They also couldn’t claim to be waterproof or sweatproof, only water- or sweat-resistant — so that people know sunscreens have to be reapplied frequently.

But sunscreen manufacturers said they were having a hard time meeting the deadline. And Friday, the FDA said it would give major sunscreen makers another six months to make the changes — until December, beyond sunbathing season in most of the country. Smaller companies will have even longer, until December 2013.

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