Sunscreen has long been advocated to protect people from the damaging effects of the sun. Recently, the FDA called for new warnings and information to be included on sunscreen labels. The two kinds of rays from the sun are ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Sunscreens have standard ratings for protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn. However, the suggested new labels would include information about UVA rays, which cause tanning, as well as a warning about skin cancer. According to the FDA, both types of UV rays lead to increased risk of skin cancer. Further, sun exposure leads to skin damage and premature aging. Under the proposed new rule, companies would not be required to test for UVA protection, but if they did not, then their label must indicate that the product does not offer UVA protection. In addition to the UVA information, under the new rule, the FDA could certify SPF ratings of up to 50, which is an increase from the maximum of 30 that it could certify on current labels. The SPF rating indicates the amount of UVB protection.
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