UVA Myth Melts Down

Only 20 percent of sunscreens offer adequate UVA radiation protection

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) UVA radiation doesn't cause sunburns, but can cause premature aging and as well as skin cancer. According to new research, only two out of five sunscreens tested currently available offer adequate UVA protection.

For the past 32 years, the FDA has delayed regulating sunscreen products. In a call to arms, Environmental Working Group (EWG) has offered their own database to inform consumers which sunscreens currently available offer the best protection.

"Ensure your sunscreen products work for you."

In a recent news release, the EWG reported that United States Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) declared one shouldn’t be required to visit a doctor to determine if their sunscreen is protecting both UVB and UVA rays.

The FDA has long allowed manufacturers to make claims about their sun protection products, and consumers are literally getting burned.

Senator Reed endorses improving FDA guidelines regarding labeling and disclosure information on all sunscreen products.

EWG's website provides tips for sunscreen purchase:

  • Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide provide excellent mineral protection.
  • Don't purchase products with oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate.
  • Creams and lotions are better than sprays and powders.
  • Use sunglasses, hats and clothing as well to block from the sun.
  • Minimize time spent outside between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Reapply sunscreen often.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 26, 2011
Last Updated:
June 2, 2011