Slowly Changing Sunscreen Standards

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Currently, the FDA rates sunscreen based only on UVB protection. This is displayed on the bottle as the SPF level, which implies how many times longer you can stay in the sun without getting burned.

In 2007, a new labeling system was proposed that would use a four-star rating to measure both UVA and UVB protection, as well as provide additional information about the ingredients in the “warnings” and “drug facts” areas.

Although the revision has yet to go into effect, many sunscreen manufacturers already present this information on labels through terms like “broad-spectrum” or a three-level PA (plus-rating) system.

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