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An agreement has been signed by Europe’s Colipa, the U.S. Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), the Japanese Cosmetic Industry Association and the CTFA of South Africa, regulating the ever-disputed measurement of SPF. The International Protection Factor (SPF) Test Method was signed at the Colipa General Assembly in Estoril, Portugal on June 1, 2006.
According to the Colipa press release, the agreed upon method unifies the substantiation of SPF product claims.
The unified regulation of SPF claims benefits various arenas of sun care. The consumer is given the benefit of knowing that wherever they purchase sun protection products, SPF will remain the same. Control authorities’ jobs will be better simplified, giving them a standard way to test SPF. Companies will also be given a set procedure to regulate their products.
The new method will be applied throughout the EU, Japan and South-Africa. Although the United States supports and promotes the international method as the appropriate standard that all regulatory frameworks should move towards, the will continue to use U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for SPF, which vary somewhat. More countries are expected by Colipa to add the method to their SPF products.
The test method specifies details such as: at least 10 healthy volunteers are tested; two mg of sunscreen is applied to every square centimeter of skin and the only area designated to test on is the back between the waist and shoulders. A copy of the method can be purchased by calling Colipa at Tel:+00-32-2-227-66-10.