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FDA Will Enforce Regulations on SPF Labels for Bath and Body Care

New Rule on Labels for Bath and Body Care This Summer

By June 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require that labels for bath and body care products containing a sun protection factor, or SPF, clearly mark how they protect against harmful ultraviolet radiation. According to The New York Times, sunscreen manufacturers can only use the term "broad spectrum protection" if the product offers protection against two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB.

Sunscreen Items Receive Product Safety Sign and Label 
The New York Times reports that any sunscreen product with an SPF of 15 or lower will now be required to depict a product safety sign and label to ensure customers understand it will not protect against skin cancer. Sunscreen may not display the product as waterproof but only as water-resistant. Labels must now say that the bath and body care item is ineffective after 40 to 80 minutes.

The FDA hopes that the measure will help consumers make educated decisions about using sunscreen. Dr. Steven Wang, spokesman for the Skin Cancer Foundation, told The New York Times that customers should be aware of the actual benefits of sunscreen.

"Sunscreen is not a magic bullet," Wang said. "It's just one of the defenses against the harmful effect of UV radiation, and that message gets lost."