On Sunday, Senator Chuck Schumer sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging officials to heavily scrutinize potentially dangerous chemicals that are found in commercial sunscreen products.
For the first time in decades, the agency is in the middle of revising its guidelines on sunscreen regulations. Recently, the FDA recently found two potentially unsafe chemicals in sunscreen products, which are para-aminobenzoic acid and trolamine salicylate. The agency has called for them to be banned.
Last month, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) urged the agency to update and improve sunscreen regulations, as the group found 14 ineffective sunscreen products.
Another lot of 12 sun-blocking ingredients was put on the FDA’s questionable list. According to recent studies, these ingredients were found harmful because they seeped into the bloodstream 24 hours after application.
Schumer said to the FDA, “The one thing I am urging them to not get wrong and to move swiftly to address, relates to the ingredients. We know very little about some of them and what they might do in our bloodstream, but we have the ability and the technology to find out.”
According to Schumer, the agency’s new guidelines for sunscreen products will be finalized in November, giving the health officials enough time to thoroughly review the effects of the questionable chemicals.
The FDA has been pushing for more rules and regulations on labeling sunscreen. This would us more clear information on the potential risks associated with the ingredients in sunscreens and with sunbathing in general.
Schumer said the reports of certain chemicals in sunscreens should not stop us from using the stuff because using sunscreens is among the best ways to prevent melanoma, or skin cancer, during the summer.
He said, “New Yorkers should not and cannot stop using sunscreen. That is exactly why it is so critical that the FDA get this right.” The FDA officials would review Schumer’s letter and respond directly to him, according to a spokeswoman of the agency.