FDA Bans the Term 'Sunblock'

Sunscreen can't call itself 'waterproof' anymore, either
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2011 1:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – You’ll never put on sunblock again. The FDA rolled out its long-awaited changes for sunscreen labels today, banning the word “sunblock” along with the terms “waterproof” and “sweat-proof.” From now on sunscreen can only boast that it’s “water-resistant” and specify whether users should reapply after 40 or 80 minutes of use in water. If it can’t hold up at all, it’ll have to carry a warning not to use it in water, the Washington Post reports.

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In addition, sunscreens that can’t protect against both UVA and UVB rays, or that have an SPF value below 15, will have to carry a separate warning stating that they don’t protect against skin cancer. “These changes will help people make better-informed decisions about how to use sunscreens,” an FDA spokeswoman said. The agency also is banning all SPF ratings above 50, saying that it has no evidence of anything above that level providing greater protection. The new labels must be in place by next summer. (Read more FDA stories.)

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