Online research about sunscreen ingredients in the United States reveals widespread concern – from doctors and dermatologists to consumer websites – that Americans don’t have access to innovative products that have been used safely all over the world for more than a decade. That’s because the organisation which approves the use of new sunscreen ingredients – the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) – hasn’t approved a new ingredient since 2002.
Campaigners are lobbying and putting in petitions to try to change the situation. One such organisation is the PASS (Public Access to Sunscreens) Coalition, which describes itself as a “multi stakeholder coalition formed in the US of public health organisations, dermatologists, sunscreen ingredient companies and concerned citizens, who will work collaboratively with the Food and Drug Administration , the White House and Congress to establish a timely and transparent framework for approval of the next generation of UV active filters for Over-the-Counter (OTC) sunscreens”.
Coalition members include the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the Melanoma Research Foundation, along with sunscreen companies and doctors. Check out their website and Facebook page to find out more. The PASS Coalition is just one voice among many calling for the FDA to speed up the approval process, but so far there has been little progress. Legislation was passed in 2014 to speed up the process but the FDA has still not made a final decision on approving a single ingredient. As recently as last summer, the president was petitioned to help fight skin cancer and ensure access to the latest sunscreens. But, unfortunately, nothing has changed yet.