Connect to share and comment

Super sunscreen feels the heat

The proposed sale of 50+ sunscreen in Australia has sparked debate to whether the new product markedly increases protection

Sunscreen Australia 50+ optEnlarge
In Australia, a new SPF 50 sunscreen is on the market, but experts wonder if it really offers more sun protection. (Maxime Ferreboeuf/AFP/Getty Images)

The proposed sale of 50+ sunscreen in Australia has sparked debate to whether the new product markedly increases protection against the harsh antipodean sun.

Standards Australia told ABC’s AM program that new product would offer the best protection yet against the sun. Currently SPF 30+ sunscreen is the highest protection available.

The chief executive of Standards Australia, Colin Blair, said in a statement: "They say Australia is the sunburnt country, so this draft standard reflects genuine public interest and ultimately consumer demand."

But Professor Ian Olver from the Cancer Council (Australia) says SPF50+ is “only 3 or 4 per cent," improvement on SPF 30+ .

According to the ABC, “SPF is a measure of how much solar energy is required to produce sunburn on protected skin compared with unprotected skin.”
Professor Ian Olver has urged consumers to not just be complacent and rely on a high SPF – but to apply sunscreen regularly and to note whether the sunscreen blocks both types of UV rays.

Previously the Cancer Council has resisted the increased level to 50+, saying it gives people a false sense of security. They say there is a higher chemical
rate in such sunscreens – but this does not correspond with an equally high level of protection.

The new standards will also ban terms such as sunblock and water proof, because they may be misleading.

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancers in the world.

The proposal also recommends banning potentially misleading terms such as ''sun block'' and ''water proof'' from sunscreen labels.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/science/110713/super-sunscreen-feels-the-heat-0