Sunscreens not all created equally

» Posted by on Jun 11, 2011 in Products on the Market | 0 comments

By Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle

The sunblock slathered all over the pale hordes gallivanting on the beach this Memorial Day weekend may not protect skin from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation, an environmental watchdog group warned this week.

More than half of the sunscreens on the market do not provide adequate UVA protection, and many of them actually contain hazardous ingredients, according to an analysis of 292 national brands and 1,700 products by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, based in Washington.

The problem, the group’s researchers said, is that the sunscreen industry has taken advantage of lax federal regulations and allowed a marketing Wild West to develop. Many products with high sun-protection factor, or SPF, ratings contain bad ingredients, and companies use unsubstantiated claims about their effectiveness to market them, the group said.

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