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EWG Sunscreen Ratings Stir Controversy; CTFA Backs FDA
Posted: June 20, 2007
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Houlihan added that before the EWG launched this database, consumers had no way to identify the safest and most effective sunscreens. “The SPF rating on the product is helpful, but it is only part of what a consumer needs to know,” said Houlihan. “Our rating system includes critical information on UVA protection, how stable the product is in the sun, and potential health hazards of the product’s ingredients.”
“EWG has conducted this research because the FDA has failed to do so," said Houlihan in the press announcement. "With over one million cases of skin cancer reported each year, people should have the most reliable information available about which sunscreens will provide the best protection for themselves and their families.”
The report and online database rank products for combined safety and efficacy reportedly to help consumers recognize incorrect claims on sunscreen products and provide tips for safety in the sun. According to the EWG, the FDA has not finalized comprehensive sunscreen standards, which have been in development for 29 years. When complete, these rules will standardize a rating system for UVA protection and prohibit misleading and inaccurate claims such as “waterproof” and “lasts all day” that are commonly found on sunscreen products.
In a response statement to the EWG's report, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) affirms that the FDA's current regulations are strong and that, "consumers should have a high level of confidence that sunscreen products are safe and effective when used as directed."
"Sunscreens are an important tool for consumers and health professionals in the fight against skin cancer and other harmful effects of the sun," stated the CTFA. "While the final rulemaking is ongoing, there are currently strong FDA safety and effectiveness regulations that govern the manufacture and marketing of all sunscreen products. "