FDA delays deadline for new U.S. sunscreen labels

WASHINGTON Wed May 16, 2012 1:12am IST

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has delayed by six months rules on the marketing of sunscreen originally set to go into effect this summer, saying the extra time was needed to avoid supply shortages.

The FDA last year ordered sunscreen manufacturers to make a host of changes by June to sunscreen labels that would better explain how consumers should use the products.

After complaints from major trade associations that companies were having trouble making the changes, the agency late last week extended the deadline to December. Smaller companies have until December 2013.

"We're thinking proactively here... we don't want them to cease making sunscreens available this summer because they don't think they'll be able to meet the compliance date," said Shelly Burgess, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The FDA had updated prior rules on sunscreen which dealt only with protection against ultraviolet B radiation but not ultraviolet A rays, which contribute to skin cancer and early skin aging. Sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation.

Now sunscreen makers would be required to pass a test by the agency to prove the product protects against both types of rays before labeling sunscreens as providing "Broad Spectrum" protection. Of those that pass, only sunscreens with a "sun protection factor" or SPF, of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

Sunscreen products that don't pass the test or have passed but have an SPF between 2 to 14 can only claim to help prevent sunburn.

Under the new rules, manufacturers also cannot call their sunscreens "water proof" or "sweat proof," but only say that they are water or sweat resistant.

Sunscreen makers also cannot claim to provide protection for more than two hours without reapplication or to provide "instant protection" without submitting data to prove that to the FDA.

Burgess said that some sunscreens with revised labels were already in the market but that the agency did not know how many.

(Reporting By Lily Kuo; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Eric Walsh)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

ALLERGY WORRIES

Reuters Showcase

A Little Help

A Little Help

Researchers "buzz" the brain to speed up learning.  Video 

Disease Outbreak

Disease Outbreak

WHO says West African Ebola outbreak to last 2-4 months.  Full Article 

Healthy Food

Healthy Food

For teen girls, fruits and veggies linked to lower risk of breast condition.  Full Article 

Milk Effect

Milk Effect

Drinking milk may slow women's knee arthritis.  Full Article 

Rising Obesity

Rising Obesity

U.S. childhood obesity rates have increased since 1999: study.  Full Article 

Quality Check

Quality Check

Just because it's sweet and sticky doesn't mean it's 'honey': FDA.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.   Full Coverage