Statement by the Personal Care Products Council in Response to the National Academy of Sciences Report, “Review of Fate, Exposure, and Effects of Sunscreens in Aquatic Environments and Implications for Sunscreen Usage and Human Health”



Lisa Powers,, (202) 297-1232
Stefanie Harrington,, (202) 615-6558

Washington, D.C. – “Cosmetics and personal care products companies provide innovative sunscreen products to help protect consumers from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and our member companies welcome the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) thorough and comprehensive review of the state of the science, released today, on the use of currently marketed sunscreen ingredients, their environmental impact on aquatic environments, and the potential public health implications associated with changes in sunscreen use.

“An ad hoc committee of the NAS calls upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct an environmental risk assessment (ERA) of sunscreen UV filters to characterize possible risks to aquatic ecosystems and the species that live within them, including coral. The report identified information gaps and research priorities necessary to inform a tiered approach to the ERA.

“The key conclusions confirm PCPC’s long-held position that there is currently insufficient relevant and reliable scientific data to conduct realistic ERAs and there is not enough scientific data to support sunscreen ingredient bans. Policymakers, regulators and legislators should not make any decisions that impact consumers’ access to FDA-approved sunscreen UV filters until the scientific community reaches an informed consensus.

“Sunscreen use is a critical and well-recognized tool in the fight against skin cancer and premature skin aging. Despite some recognized knowledge gaps, NAS acknowledges that if consumers reduced their use of currently marketed sunscreens because of regulatory restrictions or perceived environmental risks, there could be significant potential adverse public health impacts of increased UV-induced skin cancers. Medical experts and regulatory authorities worldwide agree that sunscreens play a critical role in a safe-sun regimen and nothing in the report changes that recommendation.

“The NAS report makes clear the environmental and public health data gaps are complex and will require close cooperation among governmental agencies, sunscreen manufacturers and UV filter manufacturers to conduct the needed research. As a science-driven industry, we have been and continue to be committed to advancing robust and reliable research to address these data gaps in both environmental and public health research.

“Our industry’s research aims to develop UV sunscreen environmental monitoring data, a validated standardized toxicity testing model for coral and a multi-tiered ERA model for sunscreen UV filters that realistically reflects what occurs in nature.

“PCPC member companies remain firmly committed to providing consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens. Together, we hope sunscreens will remain as much of a public health habit as wearing your seatbelt.”


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Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the voice and advocate for 600 member companies representing the $484.1 billion global cosmetics and personal care products industry. PCPC’s members represent approximately 90% of the U.S. beauty industry and are some of the most beloved and trusted brands in beauty and personal care today. As the manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – PCPC’s member companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.