June 26, 1991

Medical News & Perspectives

JAMA. 1991;265(24):3217-3220. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460240013002

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Revised Regulations for Sunscreen Labeling Expected Soon From FDA  THE US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to revise its regulations for the labeling of "broadspectrum" sunscreens before the end of this year.That is the word from a workshop panel—"Controversies in Photobiology: Sunscreens and Other Means of Prevention"—at the Fourth World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, recently held in New York, NY.While federal regulations call for the labeling of skin care products as to their ability to block ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, they do not allow manufacturers to make claims concerning how well their products protect the skin from less harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. UVB radiation has wavelengths between 290 and 320 nm, while UVA has wavelengths between 320 and 400 nm, where the visible light spectrum begins.

SPF and UVB  The current package labeling on a sunscreen product states its ability to protect