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Please Explain: Sunscreen and the New FDA Rules

Friday, June 24, 2011

The FDA passed new federal regulations on sunscreen labels, to take effect next year. On today's Please Explain Dr. Michelle Hanjani, Assistant Professor of Clinical Dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center tells us what those changes are, what they mean, how sunscreen works, and how much it really protects us from the sun's harmful rays.

Guests:

Dr. Elizabeth Hale and Dr. Michelle Hanjani,

Comments [38]

Beth Anne

Not sure who to direct this to, but the RSS feed seems to be broken. This Please Explain has been posted 28 times since Friday; that seems like overkill.

Jun. 28 2011 02:33 PM
jawbone

How can we know the expiration date?

I just checked 3 bottles and tubes of sun lotion and can find no expiration dates anywhere.

(I just asked this but it didn't show up)

Jun. 24 2011 02:03 PM
Pat from Northvale, NJ

Must the good doctor start every sentence with, "So..."? It maddening!

Jun. 24 2011 02:02 PM
jawbone

How can we know the expiration date?

I just checked three bottles of sunlotion -- no expiration dates.

Jun. 24 2011 02:01 PM
Elizabeth from NYC

Thank you for having this guest. She is providing precise and useful information. I had a two sunburns in adolescence and one in adulthood and I have a looming fear of developing skin cancer. So far, ok.

Jun. 24 2011 01:57 PM
Howard from the Bronx

So, we're supposed to slather loads of suntan lotion on every two hours, become vitamin D deficient and then take pills to replace the the vitamin D we're no longer producing. Excuse me, but this sounds bass ackwards. Humans have been in the sun for millions of years. If you don't roast yourself on the beach or pool or rooftop and take normal precautions, the likelihood of you're getting cancer is more likely genetic than anything else.

Jun. 24 2011 01:55 PM
Brian from Astoria

What is the actual risk of skin cancer? I HATE wearing sunscreen -- it makes me sweat, burns my eyes, makes me very uncomfortable. Plus it's expensive!

Jun. 24 2011 01:54 PM
Mike from NYC

There's a French sunscreen that claims there's a third type of UV between A and B, and that they alone protect against it. Is this true?

Jun. 24 2011 01:52 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Thinning of the ozone layer is unrelated to global climate upset. It can be caused by CFCs & other chemicals humans put into the atmosphere, & also (short-term) by volcanic eruptions. It's a different issue, & the 2 shouldn't be confused.

However, with the recent volcanic eruptions, I'm wondering if we need to be aware of when the ozone layer is thinner so we can take more precautions against UV.

Jun. 24 2011 01:52 PM
sabrina

Do expiration dates on sunscreens matter?

Jun. 24 2011 01:49 PM
holly from westchester

What about spray sunscreen compared to lotion?

Jun. 24 2011 01:49 PM
veronica

There was very recent news that the incidence of nearsightedness was due to children staying indoors more rather than playing outdoors in the light/sun. What about that?

Jun. 24 2011 01:49 PM
Nancy Jones from Manhattan

What about days that are cloudy? Years ago, I was seriously burned on an 'overcast' day, as I recall. Is this possible?

Jun. 24 2011 01:48 PM
Sabrina from Manhattan

Do expiration dates on sunscreens matter?

Jun. 24 2011 01:47 PM
Ken from Upper West Side

Don't Europeans have access to better sunscreens than we do? Why?

Jun. 24 2011 01:45 PM
ST

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide seem to produce a white powdery finish. How does a person with dark skin wear either of these? I usually use a sunscreen with avobenzone, but I'd like to use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. What is causing that powdery look anyhow?

Jun. 24 2011 01:45 PM
dage from Brooklyn

So we should be more concerned about UVA than UVB?

Can the FDA really be trusted? They allow so many toxic chemicals in our personal care and household products.

Jun. 24 2011 01:45 PM
donna from bklyn

hello?! which oils block sun? please specify.

Jun. 24 2011 01:45 PM
Barbara Appel from Manhattan

Does lipstick offer any sun protection to the lip?s

Jun. 24 2011 01:45 PM

Are spray on tans are safe?

Jun. 24 2011 01:44 PM
Alfredo from Stamford

I'm confused?? What kind of lotions are safe to buy that are currently available? Are the labels just lying about what spectrum they cover?

Jun. 24 2011 01:44 PM
Alfredo from Stamford

I'm confused?? What kind of lotions are safe to buy that are currently available? Are the labels just lying about what spectrum they cover?

Jun. 24 2011 01:44 PM

Are spray on tans safe?

Jun. 24 2011 01:42 PM
Robert from Bayside

Are animals susceptible to skin damage from the sun as well as humans?

Jun. 24 2011 01:42 PM
Chris from New York

What is the concern over "nanoparticles" in sunscreen?

Jun. 24 2011 01:40 PM
Sheela from NYC

Can you please comment on laser hair removal. Is the light of the laser safe?

Jun. 24 2011 01:40 PM
Richard from Queens

Last year I think I became allergic to Chapstick lip balm with SPF 30. Does that sound possible? I'm afraid to use it this summer.

Jun. 24 2011 01:39 PM
Anna from Tuckahoe

1)Are spray on Sunscreens effective
2)Is wearing very shiny lip gloss a risk factor for lip cancer.
3) is sunscreen ever water proof

Jun. 24 2011 01:37 PM
Britta from Hell's Kitchen

Hi,
Can you ask your guest where to get reliable information and recommendations for the best suncare?
thank you.

Jun. 24 2011 01:37 PM
Gillian zackham from Stamford ct

Isn't there a very effective ingredient available in the sun block in Europe which is not available here because of corporate disagreements?

Jun. 24 2011 01:34 PM
Aaron from Queens

Leanord, does your guest have any special recommendations as far as special precautions for babies? what is the evidence regarding early sun exposure and lifetime skin cancer rates?

Jun. 24 2011 01:34 PM
Britta from Hell's Kitchen

Hi,
Can you ask your guest where to get reliable information and recommendations for the best suncare?
thank you.

Jun. 24 2011 01:34 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

When I was a teenager, I burned badly, bled on my face, while painting houses. Is there anything I can do now, to prevent these areas from developing any problems, other than cover, wear sun block & etc?

Jun. 24 2011 01:33 PM
Josephine

Could you recommend some sunscreens that are safe. I was a redhead and have had basel cell carcinomas.

Jun. 24 2011 01:29 PM
Ken from Soho

Leonard, when you introduced this piece, you referred to the "Federal Drug Administration". There is no such agency. There is the Drug Enforcement Administration, which handles controlled drugs, and the Food and Drug Administration; I think you mean the later.

Jun. 24 2011 01:28 PM
Alan from 150 Varick St.

There is a debate whether sunscreens containing Vitamin A assist in causing cancer. Any thoughts?

Jun. 24 2011 01:28 PM
Estelle from Austin

I would like to know how the various chemicals in sunscreen might affect vitamin D synthesis.

Jun. 24 2011 12:03 PM
Laura from UWS

As the child of a skin cancer victim, I feel so sorry for everyone who was denied the necessary information on sunscreen labels for all these years. More people need to understand the role of Republicans in this shameful episode, and need to be more active about getting us the protections we need:
"High Court Nominee Admits Lobbying OMB, FDA
Posted on August 8, 2005

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts, Jr. conceded that he omitted records of lobbying the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from his other public disclosures, after Newsday uncovered the lobbying activities.

As an attorney for the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, Roberts lobbied against proposed labeling regulations for sunscreen products by threatening litigation. . . . ."
More at these websites::
http://www.ombwatch.org/node/2551

and
http://www.alternet.org/health/92412/baseball_caps_and_sunscreen%3A_mccain's_melanoma_cover-up/?page=5

Jun. 24 2011 11:43 AM

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