The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently formulating new rules to improve sunscreens and now recent evidence suggests overall sun exposure in childhood is a big key to who later develops deadly skin cancer.
The FDA wants sunscreens with SPF rankings not just for how well they block the ultraviolet-B rays that cause sunburn, but for how well they protect against deeper-penetrating ultraviolet-A rays that are linked to cancer and wrinkles.
FDA policy director Jeff Shuren told The Associated Press the proposed changes are undergoing a final review and should go into effect in weeks. The proposal will be followed by a public comment period before going into effect.
New research into how the sun and genetics interact suggests parents should check the weather forecast for the day's "UV index" in their town to decide when to stay indoors or in the shade.
"Sunscreen is imperfect," warns Dr. Nancy Thomas, a dermatologist at the University of North Carolina who led the UV research. "Schedule activities when UV irradiation is not quite so high."
Melanoma is the most lethal skin cancer. It will strike almost 60,000 Americans this year, and kill some 8,100. Cases have been on the rise for three decades, and while it usually strikes in the 40s or 50s, doctors are seeing ever-younger cases, occasionally even in children.
Scientists are studying the interaction of genes and UV exposure in melanoma patients in the U.S. and Australia — and initial results suggest staying in the shade in early life is even more important than previously realized.
Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2007, 14:23