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Experts rush to support regular sunscreen use.

* The recent publication of a study that questions the use of sunscreens has been widely panned by medical experts. The study, by British medical charity Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust (RAFT), suggested that using sunscreens encourages people to prolong sun exposure, potentially exposing them to a greater risk of skin cancer. However, experts continue to insist sunscreens are among the most important weapons in the fight against sun-related skin cancer.

"Medical science suggests exactly the opposite (of the RAFT study): the consequences of non-use of sunscreens, at a time when 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually, would be far worse," said Phillip L. Schneider, executive director, Sun Safety Alliance.

The incidence of skin cancer has grown 6% a year. Medical studies reinforce the importance of sunscreen use as a necessary tool in the prevention of skin cancer, according to Mr. Schneider. Regular use of broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher in the first 18 years of life has been projected to lower the risk of certain skin cancers by nearly 80%. Industry experts said most sunscreens also protect against UVA and UVB radiation and solar keratosis.

Many leading U.S. health organizations, including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Skin Cancer Foundation, recommend daily use of sunscreens with at least an SPF of 15. For children, the AAP recommends SPF 30.

The Sun Safety Alliance said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages labeling on sunscreen products that indicates using sunscreens along with other protective measures may reduce the risks of skin cancer and other harmful effects of the sun.
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Title Annotation:Regulations
Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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