Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Choose your sunscreen wisely - a quick look at false claims

Summer is here, and for many of us, this harvest season is characterized by increased physical activity and exciting new discoveries that lead us into the outdoors where if we aren't careful, can wreak havoc on our skin's vulnerabilities to the sun's radiation.  

Staying loyal to our efforts in avoiding toxic chemicals, sunscreens pose a rather challenging conflict - risk harmful sun exposure or absorb the toxins associated with most retail sunscreens.  A good starting point to minimize the damage of either is to become aware of the misleading claims that popular sun care products advertise.  

Although the federal Food and Drug Administration announced new regulations that will ban misleading terms such as "sunblock," "sweatproof" and "waterproof", the regulations will not be enforced until after the 2012 season. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that many manufacturers are still misleading the public, and major retail outlets such as Walmart, Target, and Walgreens encourage the use of such claims by continuing to distribute and stock their shelves with these false products. 

As recently stated by EWG, "American consumers need reliable information - not exaggerated or false claims - on sunscreen labels so they can make smart shopping decisions. The best way to influence manufacturers to bring their products in line with the new regulations now is to get major retailers to stop selling products with these false claims."  You can click here to sign EWG's petition to get major retailers to protect consumers by taking these products off of their shelves.  


For more information on EWG's campaigns, current research, and government policy updates regarding toxins in our everyday lives, from food to house cleaners to cosmetics, visit our friends at ewg.org.