Using sunscreen is a safe and effective way to protect people from the well-known dangers of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, according to experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Skin Cancer Foundation and health care professionals worldwide.
Recently, some bloggers have raised questions about the safety of spray sunscreens. “Spray products, including both manual pump sprays or ‘continuous spray’ products that use aerosol technology to propel sunscreen in fine particles, are safe and effective,” said Sean Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Consumer Aerosol Products Council, which represents aerosol makers. “Many consumers prefer aerosol sunscreens because they are efficient, airtight and portable. And they do their job very well.”
Here are a few facts about how sunscreens are regulated:
- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates sunscreen products as over-the-counter drugs, requires rigorous testing for sunscreen safety and effectiveness. (http://www.fda.gov/sunscreen)
- In 2011, FDA requested additional data from makers of sunscreen spray products to determine whether they present a safety concern if inhaled unintentionally. This does not mean FDA has identified a safety concern with spray sunscreens. It wants more information that may be used in future labeling requirements or regulations to ensure the continued safe use of these products.
As with any consumer product, users should read the label and follow use and storage instructions. Consumers should always spray away from the face to avoid inadvertently breathing particles. When applying to the face, spray on hands first and apply to the face.