TODAY Show Feature Criticizes FDA on Sunscreens

Today Show Sunscreen

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing Americans a disservice by not approving many of the modern sunscreens that are commonly used in Europe, a representative from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) told the TODAY television show last week.

“Currently, the US sunscreen market is really based on decades-old ingredients with decades-old regulations and decades-old science,” David Andrews, PhD, deputy director of investigations and senior scientist for the EWG, told TODAY. “[European sunscreens not approved by the FDA] have not been linked to as many health harms as US ingredients, and they are more effective.”

The European Union has approved more than 30 substances as safe and effective for sunscreens, compared to just two for the FDA, according to the EWG.

The FDA said in a statement to TODAY that it “must balance the public health benefits of access to a broader range of sunscreen active ingredients against the importance of ensuring that the sunscreens Americans use are safe for regular, lifelong use.”

The EWG reported earlier this year in its 2024 Guide to Sunscreens that almost 75% of the 1,700 SPF products it evaluated fell short of adequate sun protection, with many still containing ingredients that could pose health risks. The group says the FDA has not approved a new active ingredient for use in SPF products in more than 2 decades.

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