If you like going out in the sun or, perhaps, must do so because of your work and you don’t want to get burned, there is good news. Of a sort.
As Sophie Novack of National Journal reports:
In the final week of session before Congress takes its summer vacation, lawmakers have come one step closer to protecting American consumers from the sun's harmful rays. For years, the United States has lagged behind other countries in sunscreen technology because of backlogs in approval of new ingredients by the Food and Drug Administration. While new sunscreen technologies have been available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America for up to 15 years, they remain stalled awaiting any kind of decision in the U.S. The last time an over-the-counter sunscreen ingredient was approved by the FDA was in the 1990s; there are eight ingredients currently stuck in the system.
Fifteen years? To approve sunscreen? When we know that,
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with nearly 5 million people treated each year, at an annual cost of $8.1 billion, according to the Health and Human Services Department. Most of these cases could be prevented with better skin protection.
Well, we now have relief in the form of the “Sunscreen Innovation Act [which] would require final decisions on pending ingredient applications within one year, and decisions on new applications within one and a half.”
The FDA, meanwhile, says that it is trying and has “prioritized reviewing the safety and effectiveness of additional sunscreen ingredients as quickly as possible given the agency's resources."
Translation: “Give us more money."