Good intentions and reality

In June 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new regulations for manufacturers of sunscreens. The time limit for bringing all sunscreens in accordance with the new rules was appointed June 2012 for companies with sales volume  over 25 thousand dollars a year, and June 2013 for those companies with  sales volume  less than this figure.

Recently, however, the date was postponed for another six months. Now the major manufacturers ought to bring their products into compliance with the new rules by December 2012, and small – by December 2013. The reasons for the delay were the difficulties that U.S. lawmakers have somehow failed to anticipate from the start.

For example, under the new rules all broad-spectrum sunscreen products  must pass certain standardized tests. However, as it turned out, the number of laboratories, conducting such tests, is limited and to cope with the testing of commercially available sunscreens in a short time they are unable.

Considerable difficulties arose because of the requirements to change the labels of sunscreens, because in many cases, this meant changing the entire package and design. Under the new rules the sunscreens manufacturers should remove such promises as "protection for the whole day long", "water-resistant agent," "immediate protection", etc., as well as make an additional panel: "information about the medicine," in which they should indicate  concentrations of active component (UV filter).

It should be noted that in the U.S. sunscreens are classified as non-prescription medicines, making their production and testing is much more expensive than conventional cosmetics. Now, with the new rules, the manufacturers should not only put a lot of money in testing and re-design and packaging, but also eliminate all the products which do not meet the new rules, and thus suffer losses.


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