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The Safety Site

Monica Palmer, Safety Administrator


Recreational Safety takes Responsibility & Control

FDA regulates sunscreens to ensure they meet safety and effectiveness standards. To improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of sunscreens, FDA posted a proposed order on September 24, 2021 that describes updated proposed requirements for sunscreens. Given the recognized public health benefits of sunscreen use, Americans should continue to use sunscreen with other sun protective measures as this important effort moves forward.

 Please protect yourself from the sun! Incidence rates for both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers have been rising for the past quarter century. The relationship between skin cancers and overexposure to the sun is well-documented.

Sun safety is important for everyone, including people of all skin tones. Consumers should continue to use sun protection measures, including using broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, as we gather more safety data on sunscreen ingredients. 

However, sunscreen is only one part of the solution. People should engage in sun protective behaviors, such as wearing protective clothing; wearing sunglasses and a hat that provides adequate shade; and finding shade whenever possible during periods of peak sunlight. Also, consumers should use adequate protection and appropriate precaution with sunlamps and tanning beds/booths. Both are sources of UV radiation that have been linked to skin cancer, skin burns, premature skin aging, and both short-term and long-term eye damage. More about sun protection and sunscreens is available on the FDA website. Check out these resources and stay safe in the sun.

As an FDA-regulated product, sunscreens must pass certain tests before they are sold.  But how you use this product, and what other protective measures you take, make a difference in how well you are able to protect yourself and your family from sunburn, skin cancer, early skin aging and other risks of overexposure to the sun. Some key sun safety tips include:

  • Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  • Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats.
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and more often if you're sweating or jumping in and out of the water.

This information is courtesy of the FDA.