SPF Claims Fall Short For Many Sunscreens
According to a new study from Consumer Reports, 43 percent of sunscreen products do not live up to the sun protection factor (SPF) claims on their bottles.
Consumer Reports found that 13 out of the 35 sunscreen lotions tested had an SPF of less than 30, despite claiming to have at least an SPF of 30 on their labels. The majority of products that fell short on their SPF numbers did so by 10 to 15 points. However, some products were labeled as SPF 50, and were only found to have an SPF of 8.
The study found that sunscreens with active chemical ingredients like avobenzone and ecamsule performed better during testing than those with natural ingredients like zinc oxide.
FDA Moves to Regulate the Sale of E-cigarettes
When electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, first entered the market, there were few rules regulating who they could be sold to and what warnings (if any) they must carry. In recent years, concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes has grown and many have criticized e-cigarette manufacturers for targeting teenagers with candy-like flavors like cookies and cream, chocolate and birthday cake.
On May 5, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, like hookahs, will be regulated in the same way that traditional cigarettes are. Retailers will now be required to verify that all e-cigarette customers are at least 18 years old, and they will no longer be able to distribute free samples to customers.
Previously, there were no regulations about disclosing the ingredients in e-cigarettes. Under the new rule, all manufacturers will be required to list what is in their products. E-cigarettes must also now carry warnings that they contain the addictive substance, nicotine, and they must come in child-resistant packaging.
In addition, all e-cigarettes that went on sale after February 2007 must gain FDA approval. Considering the fact that the e-cigarette market was virtually non-existent before 2007, this means that every e-cigarette, as well as every flavor and nicotine level, will need to be approved. This could be a very time-intensive and expensive process for companies. E-cigarette manufacturers will have two years to gain FDA approval.
Food Labels to Get a Makeover
On May 23, 2016, the FDA announced that food labels will be getting an overhaul. The new food labels will now list how many added sugars are in each product and more clearly define what a serving size is. Many Americans are unaware of how much sugar is added to foods they wouldn’t conventionally think of as sweet, like cereal, flavored yogurts and tomato soup. The FDA hopes that these new labels will help Americans better manage their diets.
The new labels will also use a bolder font to highlight the number of calories in each food, and labels will now include potassium and vitamin D levels—since studies have shown that many Americans are deficient in these areas.
Food labels will no longer be required to list vitamin C and A levels because deficiencies in these vitamins are now rare, according to the FDA. Calcium and iron amounts, though, will remain on the label.
Large food manufacturers will have two years to add the new labels to their products. Small manufacturers—those who generate less than $10 million in sales a year—will have three years to adhere to new labeling requirements.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.
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