National Don’t Fry Day: Enjoy Summer Safely


By Alex Kowcz
Chief Scientist

With summer vacation and warm weather upon us, we’re all eager for fun in the sun. National Don’t Fry Day serves as a reminder of the potential harm of overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The dangers of UV rays – including premature skin aging and skin cancer – are clear and universally recognized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Skin Cancer Foundation and health care professionals worldwide emphasize the important role of sunscreen use in the fight against skin cancer and premature skin aging.

On National Don’t Fry Day, and every day, we encourage everyone to protect their skin from the dangers of UV exposure. An easy way to gauge your UV exposure is by your shadow. UV exposure is likely to be lower when your shadow is taller than you are (i.e., in the early morning and late afternoon). If, on the other hand, your shadow is shorter than you (usually around midday), you are being exposed to higher levels of UV radiation and should seek shade, and protect your skin and eyes.

DontFryDay

Skin cancer is a significant, yet largely preventable, public health concern. According to the American Cancer Society, more than five million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year – more than all other types of cancer combined. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and 20 Americans die from melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – every day, according to AAD. PCPC and our member companies share a common goal to help consumers make informed decisions about using sunscreen as part of an overall safe-sun regimen. Our industry is proud to offer innovative sunscreen products that help protect individuals and families from the harmful effects of the sun.

Having an array of safe and effective sunscreen active ingredients allows manufacturers to continue to develop products that meet the differing needs of individuals and their families. Ensuring consumers have access to these products is critical in the fight against skin cancer and premature aging, as well as an important contribution to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) public health mission.

Remember, ‘Don’t Fry’ while enjoying your summer! We hope using sunscreens becomes as much of a habit as using your seat belt.

Statement by Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist, Personal Care Products Council, in Response to the Environmental Working Group’s 2022 Sunscreens Guide


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:     

Lisa Powers, powersl@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 297-1232
Stefanie Harrington, harringtons@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 615-6558

Washington, D.C. – “Sunscreens on the market today are backed by decades of scientific research and safe use to help adults and children guard against the dangers of excessive sun exposure. The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are aligned with health professionals and organizations worldwide – including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American Cancer Society and Skin Cancer Foundation – about the essential public health benefits of sunscreens. As part of a daily safe-sun regimen, sunscreen products help prevent sunburn and reduce skin cancer risk. It is unfortunate that as Americans spend more time outdoors, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2022 Guide to Sunscreens resorts to fearmongering with misleading information that could keep consumers from using sunscreens altogether.

“The cosmetics and personal care product industry is proud of the innovative sunscreen products we provide to help protect consumers from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunscreen use is a crucial and well-recognized step in the fight against skin cancer and premature aging. It is important to note that the FDA regulates all sunscreen products in today’s marketplace as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

“EWG’s 2022 shopping guide contains little new information compared to previous reports. For example, this report claims that sunscreens containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both as active ingredients are better for consumers and implies a conclusion that the FDA did not reach. EWG suggests sunscreen products containing other active ingredients may be harmful. The FDA rejects this characterization and has publicly stated that Americans should continue to use sunscreens. Ensuring consumers have access to sunscreen products containing a wide variety of sunscreen active ingredients is an important contribution to the FDA’s public health mission. 

“Working with our industry, the FDA requested additional data for certain sunscreen ingredients currently used in products worldwide to further evaluate their status as generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE). Importantly, sunscreens made with these ingredients are not considered unsafe by the FDA and will remain on the market to be used as part of consumers sun-safe practices while additional data are collected. The FDA specifically noted, ‘Sun safety is important for everyone, regardless of your skin tone. Americans can reduce risks from sun exposure with continued use of sun protection measures including broad spectrum sunscreen.’ Ultimately, having a range of safe and effective sunscreen active ingredients allows manufacturers to formulate safe and effective products that meet the differing needs and preferences of individuals and their families, while providing necessary protection against the damaging effects of the sun. 

“EWG further claims that most sunscreen products on the market today offer inferior broad-spectrum protection from UV radiation. The FDA requires rigorous testing for sunscreen effectiveness (both Sun Protection Factor [SPF] and Broad Spectrum). Broad-spectrum sunscreens must protect against both UVA and UVB radiation. Consumers can be confident that these reliable and credible testing methods, which are well recognized by scientific experts and regulatory authorities worldwide, result in sunscreens that are safe and effective. EWG’s methods have not been subject to scrutiny or approval by any scientific or regulatory agency.

“Unjustly criticized by EWG every year, oxybenzone is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides safe and effective broad-spectrum protection and has been approved and safely used since 1978. Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and Brazil have also approved it. Oxybenzone protects against UVA rays, which penetrate more deeply into the skin and are scientifically proven to contribute to skin cancer. AAD notes that available peer-reviewed scientific literature and current regulatory assessments from national and international bodies show there is no causal link between oxybenzone use in sunscreens and health issues in humans.

“Skin cancer is a significant and largely preventable public health concern. Our industry’s goal continues to be to help consumers make informed decisions and use sunscreen as an important part of an overall safe-sun program as recommended by numerous nonprofit and government organizations to prevent skin cancer. The CDC’s Sun Safety recommendations note the importance of daily sunscreen use, including on cloudy and overcast days, to help prevent most skin cancers. The National Toxicology Program identifies solar UV radiation as a ‘known human carcinogen.’ A single bad burn as a child increases the skin’s susceptibility to damage and skin cancer throughout life.

“Some simple tips for sun safety include:

  • Avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Wearing sun-protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses
  • Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days
  • Reapplying sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating
  • Seeing your health care professional every year for a skin exam

“We hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as using your seat belt. For more information about cosmetics and personal care products companies, products and their ingredients, please visit www.cosmeticsinfo.org.”

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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. For more information on cosmetics and personal care products and their ingredients, please visit www.CosmeticsInfo.org.

Earth Day 2022: A Sustainable and Biodiverse Future for Coral Reefs


By Emily Burns, Ph.D.
Environmental Scientist

Earth Day is a reminder of just how important coral reefs are in sustaining a wide array of plant, fish and invertebrate species, as well as supporting the livelihood of more than half a billion people through a variety of means, such as fisheries and ecotourism. Tropical coral reefs are the most ecologically diverse ecosystems in the marine environment. Despite only covering approximately 1% of the oceans, these habitats are critical to sustaining about 25% of all marine species. Coral reefs also protect adjacent shorelines from storms and host dozens of species that are key sources of medicines to treat a variety of diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

EarthDay2022

More than 75% of coral reefs are considered to be under serious threat. The most prevalent cause of coral bleaching – which leads to coral weakening and death – is a significant and persistent rise in water temperatures, which can be attributed to the climate crisis. The climate crisis is also increasing ocean acidification, which further threatens reef survival by reducing the growth of corals and other animals.

There are also a number of local threats to coral reefs, including overfishing, invasive species, pollution from untreated sewage, agricultural runoff, unsustainable coastal development and physical damage from tourists’ feet or boat anchors. Proper management of such threats can have a significant positive impact on coral health, potentially increasing resiliency to the broader global threat of climate change.

Coral reef decline is a serious environmental, economic and societal issue that beauty and personal care products member companies take very seriously. While the use of specific sunscreen active ingredients has also been implicated as a local threat to corals, available scientific evidence indicates these ingredients are unlikely to be a threat. As a result of our industry’s extensive investigation, projects and partnerships have been established to lead the way in developing more robust science needed to understand the relationship between sunscreens and coral health. While we don’t have all of the answers, more research into the impacts of sunscreen active ingredients on coral is needed to allow the scientific community to form a consensus based on reliable studies.

We believe protecting the planet is a responsibility, not a choice. PCPC and our member companies are dedicated to improving the well-being of people and the planet, united in our commitment to operate responsibly and to ensure all cosmetic and personal care product ingredients are sustainable and do not adversely impact the environment. 

This Earth Day, I encourage you to explore EarthDay.org’s Conservation and Biodiversity Campaign for ideas and steps you can take to help protect our coral reefs.

Statement by the Personal Care Products Council and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on the FDA’s Proposed Administrative Order for Sunscreens


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:       

Lisa Powers, (202) 297-1232, powersl@personalcarecouncil.org
Mike Tringale, (202) 429-3520, mtringale@chpa.org

Washington, D.C. – “Sunscreens are a crucial and well-recognized tool in the fight against skin cancer. The dangers of excessive sun exposure are clear and universally recognized by public health professionals, including prominent dermatologists. As part of the revised regulation of sunscreens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed Administrative Order today, largely mirroring provisions made in its 2019 Tentative Final Monograph (TFM). These include revisions and updates related to maximum sun protection factor (SPF) values, active ingredients, broad spectrum requirements and product labeling.

“As part of today’s proposed Administrative Order, the FDA is reiterating its request for additional data for some sunscreen filters currently approved in the U.S. to further evaluate their status as generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE). Importantly, sunscreens made with these ingredients are not considered unsafe by the FDA and will remain on the market to be used as part of consumers’ sun-safe practices while more data are collected. Not all of these ultraviolet (UV) filters are used in formulations marketed today.

“In the U.S., sunscreen products are regulated by the FDA as non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. Our industry has long supported OTC monograph reform, and our member companies remain committed to working with the FDA to further demonstrate the safety of UV filters in sunscreens – avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, octisalate, octinoxate, homosalate, ensulizole and meradimate. These filters are approved globally in Europe and other regions around the world and have been used in formulations in the U.S. for decades.

“Numerous nonprofit health organizations and government agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Skin Cancer Foundation, recommend continuing to use sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. The FDA noted in its announcement of the proposed Order, ‘Sun safety is important for everyone, regardless of your skin tone. Americans can reduce risks from sun exposure with continued use of sun protection measures including broad spectrum sunscreen.’ Ensuring consumers have access to sunscreen products containing UVA protection is an important contribution to the FDA’s public health mission. 

“The personal care and consumer healthcare products industries have a long history of working to improve the well-being of the people who trust and rely on our products every day. Our goal is to provide consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens to meet the differing needs of individuals and their families. Sunscreen products protect consumers from harmful UV rays that can cause premature aging and skin cancer. We hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a health habit as putting on your seatbelt.”  

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About the Personal Care Products Council
Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the voice and advocate for 600 member companies representing the $450 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 manufacturers, distributers 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 safety, quality and innovation. For more information on cosmetics and personal care products, please visit www.CosmeticsInfo.org.

About the Consumer Healthcare Products Association
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), founded in 1881, is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of consumer healthcare products, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by ensuring that Americans have access to products they can count on to be reliable, affordable, and convenient, while also delivering new and better ways to get and stay healthy. Visit www.chpa.org.

Statement by Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist, Personal Care Products Council, Addressing a Recent Paper on Potential Presence of Benzophenone in Sunscreens Containing Octocrylene


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACTS:       

Lisa Powers, powersl@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 297-1232
Stefanie Harrington, harringtons@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 615-6558
Jamie Kurke, kurkej@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 258-5285

Washington, D.C. – “Sunscreens on the market today are backed by decades of safe use to help adults and children guard against the dangers of sun exposure, playing a critical role in the fight against skin cancer. The recently published research paper, ‘Benzophenone Accumulates Over Time from the Degradation of Octocrylene in Commercial Sunscreen Products’[1] perpetuates misinformation and needlessly misleads and scares consumers about the safety of sunscreen products, potentially discouraging sunscreen use and putting consumers’ health at risk. 

“The study claims the sunscreen ingredient octocrylene can naturally degrade into the chemical benzophenone and increase in concentration as sunscreen products age, suggesting a potential risk to human health. However, global regulatory agencies have concluded that octocrylene is safe as a UV-filter in products such as sunscreen cream and lotion, sunscreen pump spray, face creams, hand cream and lip products. It is important to note that the report’s authors concluded that additional research should be conducted.

“Octocrylene is a chemical sun filter that provides balanced UVB and UVA protection. It remains stable during sun exposure, provides better water resistance and global regulatory bodies permit its use.  Octocrylene has been approved for use as an active sunscreen ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for decades. While the FDA has asked for additional data on a number of sunscreen active ingredients (including octocrylene), the agency has clearly stated that this request does not indicate that these ingredients are unsafe. In addition, given the recognized public health benefits of sunscreen use, FDA urged consumers to continue to use sunscreen in conjunction with other sun-protection measures as FDA gathers additional scientific information. PCPC and its member companies have been actively working with the FDA to provide data that will allow an updated safety assessment of octocrylene.

“PCPC and its member companies support the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s efforts to review the state of science on currently marketed sunscreen ingredients, their fate and effects in aquatic environments, and the potential public health implications associated with changes to the use of sunscreens.

‘The European Union (EU) includes octocrylene in Annex VI of the Cosmetic Products Regulation (No 1223/2009) as an approved UV sunscreen filter. The EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded octocrylene is safe in sunscreen products as recently as March 31, 2021.

“The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Dermatology, Skin Cancer Foundation, and health professionals worldwide consistently advocate for the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. Nonprofit health organizations and government agencies recommend using sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen to prevent skin cancer. CDC’s Sun Safety recommendations note the importance of daily sunscreen use to help prevent most skin cancers, even on cloudy and overcast days.

“As sunscreen manufactures, our goal is to provide our consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens so they can make informed decisions. Sunscreen is an important part of an overall safe sun program.  It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as putting on your seatbelt.” 

[1] “Benzophenone Accumulates over Time from the Degradation of Octocrylene in Commercial Sunscreen Products” Chemical Research in Toxicology: https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemrestox.0c00461

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For more information on cosmetics and personal care products, please visit www.Cosmeticsinfo.org.

Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the voice and advocate for 600 member companies representing the $450 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 manufacturers, distributers 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 safety, quality and innovation. 

Statement by the Personal Care Products Council on Benzene and Sunscreens


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:     

Lisa Powers, powersl@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 297-1232
Stefanie Harrington, harringtons@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 615-6558
Jamie Kurke, kurkej@personalcarecouncil.org, (202) 258-5285

Washington, D.C. – “The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are firmly committed to ensuring consumers have access to cosmetics and personal care products with ingredients that have been thoroughly tested for safety and follow the requirements of the law. There is nothing more important than safety. If our consumers can’t believe in a product or rely on it to do what it says, then nothing else matters. We are aware of the study reporting the presence of benzene in some of the sunscreen products tested.

“Benzene is not an intentionally added ingredient in sunscreen products, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as product manufacturers, are aware that benzene may be found in food and drugs at very low levels. FDA offers guidance on the level of residual solvents as a companion document for the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). PCPC strongly supports FDA’s guidance and activities in monitoring for conformance to these recommendations.  

“Sunscreens on the market today are backed by decades of safe use to help adults and children guard against the dangers of sun exposure. The FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Surgeon General, American Academy of Dermatology, Skin Cancer Foundation, and health professionals worldwide consistently advocate for the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. These products play a critical role in the fight against skin cancer.

“Nonprofit health organizations and government agencies recommend using sunscreens as part of a safe-sun regimen. CDC’s Sun Safety recommendations note the importance of daily sunscreen use to help prevent most skin cancers, even on cloudy and overcast days.

“As sunscreen manufactures, our goal is to provide our consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens so they can make informed decisions. Sunscreen is an important part of an overall safe-sun program. It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as putting on 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 $450 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, distributers 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. For more information on cosmetics and personal care products and their ingredients, please visit www.CosmeticsInfo.org.

 

Sun Safety and Wellness After COVID


By Carl D’Ruiz
Senior Manager, NA Personal Care Regulatory Affairs
DSM Nutritional Products LLC

Summer unofficially kicks off Memorial Day weekend, and many people will soon be spending more time outdoors, in the water and traveling to sunny destinations. As more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations and restrictions are lifted, it feels more exciting than ever to be outside enjoying the sun and summer season. But, it’s also critically important to protect your skin from over-exposure to the sun. And health experts worldwide agree that sun protection helps prevent sunburns, premature skin aging and skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Facts

Over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light – invisible sun rays that can damage skin cells – causes most skin cancers. In the Unites States alone, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year. Although those with lighter skin are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer. People with darker skin may often be diagnosed with skin cancer at a later stage, making it more difficult to treat.

While skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, it is also one of the most preventable. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), four out of five cases can be prevented by following safe-sun practices including limiting your time in the sun, seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreens regularly.

Sunscreens are a key factor in preventing and reducing the risk of skin cancer and UV-induced skin damage. Nonprofit health organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), Mayo Clinic and Skin Cancer Foundation, recommend using sweat- and water-resistant broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays) sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher as part of a safe-sun regimen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes the importance of daily sunscreen use, including on cloudy and overcast days, to help prevent most skin cancers.

Sunscreen History and Regulation

What many people don’t know is that sunscreens are regulated as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs under a monograph system by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A monograph gives instructions for how to manufacture a product and establishes various requirements for it to be sold and used in the U.S. You can think of it like a recipe in that it provides the types of ingredients, dosage forms, testing methods, labeling requirements and so forth for a given product category, such as sunscreens or antiperspirants. FDA, the regulatory body in the U.S. that comes up with the recipe for all OTC products, requires all sunscreens meet strict product safety, efficacy and labeling standards before they can be marketed or sold in the U.S.

 

The sunscreen monograph has undergone many different regulatory updates throughout the decades.  For example, in early 2019, FDA published a proposed rule for updated sunscreen regulations, called the Sunscreen Tentative Final Monograph (TFM). In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, a relief legislation in response to the COVID crisis, which also contained some provisions related to sunscreens and the OTC drug system, generally OTC Reform. These provisions referred to earlier FDA sunscreen regulations and took precedence over the proposed 2019 TFM. As part of additional language in the CARES Act, FDA is expected to propose new sunscreen regulations by this fall.

Practically speaking, this is all a bit confusing, and we are waiting to get more information on the implementation of OTC Reform. Here’s what you need to remember in the meantime:

FDA emphasizes that Americans should continue to use sunscreens with other sun-protective measures. The dangers of sun exposure are clear and universally recognized by public health professionals and dermatologists worldwide.

As an industry, we remain deeply committed to product safety and providing consumers with safe and effective products that meet their diverse needs. The more products consumers can choose from, the more likely they are to use the ones they choose. Cosmetics and personal care products companies are proud of the innovative sunscreen products they develop to help protect consumers from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.

This Memorial Day weekend, remember to apply your sunscreen – 30 minutes before going outside and then every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating – and enjoy being outside after 14 months of COVID.  

Carl D’Ruiz serves as chair of PCPC’s Sunscreen Consortium, which leads and aligns the U.S. industry’s strategy and approaches for substantiating the safety and efficacy of sunscreen UV filters, and advocates the public health benefits associated with sunscreens.

Statement by Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist, Personal Care Products Council, in Response to the Environmental Working Group’s 2021 Sunscreens Guide


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:       

Lisa Powers, (202) 297-1232, powersl@personalcarecouncil.org
Stefanie Harrington, (202) 615-6558, harringtons@personalcarecouncil.org
Jamie Kurke, (202) 258-5285, kurkej@personalcarecouncil.org

Washington, D.C. – “The cosmetics and personal care products industry is proud of the innovative sunscreen products we provide to help protect consumers from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunscreen use is a crucial and well-recognized step in the fight against skin cancer. It is unfortunate that just as Americans are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against COVID-19 and will soon be spending more time outdoors, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2021 Guide to Sunscreens unnecessarily alarms consumers with information that may be harmful to public health. More importantly, EWG’s claims could keep consumers from using sunscreen altogether.

“EWG’s 2021 shopping guide contains little new information in comparison to previous reports. For example, this report claims that sunscreens containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both as active ingredients are better for consumers and implies a conclusion that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) – the agency that regulates sunscreens in the U.S. – did not reach. EWG suggests that sunscreen products containing other active ingredients may be harmful. FDA has rejected this characterization and has publicly stated that Americans should continue to use sunscreens.

“Working with our industry, FDA has requested additional information on some sunscreen ingredients, emphasizing that this does not mean that the ingredients are unsafe. Ensuring that consumers have access to products containing a broad variety of sunscreen active ingredients is critical and an important contribution to FDA’s public health mission.

“EWG also claims that the majority of sunscreen products in the marketplace today offer inferior broad-spectrum protection from UV radiation. It is important to note that all sunscreen products in today’s marketplace are regulated by FDA as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. FDA requires rigorous testing for sunscreen effectiveness (both Sun Protection Factor [SPF] and Broad Spectrum). Broad-spectrum sunscreens must protect against both UVB and UVA radiation. Consumers can be confident that these reliable and credible testing methods, which are well recognized by scientific experts and regulatory authorities across the globe, result in sunscreens that are safe and effective in protecting them from harmful UV rays.

Oxybenzone and Homosalate
“Oxybenzone, unjustly criticized by EWG every year, is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides safe and effective broad-spectrum protection, and has been approved and safely used since 1978. Additionally, it is approved for use in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and Brazil. Oxybenzone protects against UVA rays, which penetrate more deeply into the skin and have been scientifically proven to contribute to skin cancer.

“Homosalate is another active ingredient mentioned in EWG’s guide. This UV filter has also been approved by FDA for use in sunscreens since 1978 and has a long history of use in Europe, Japan, China, Australia, Canada and South America.

Sunscreens and Sun Safety
“The American Cancer Society, American Academy of Dermatology, the Mayo Clinic and the Skin Cancer Foundation recommend using sunscreen as part of a safe-sun regimen to prevent skin cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sun Safety recommendations note the importance of daily sunscreen use, including on cloudy and overcast days, to help prevent most skin cancers. Sun exposure dangers are clear and universally recognized by public health professionals and dermatologists. The National Toxicology Program identifies solar UV radiation as a ‘known human carcinogen.’ A single bad burn as a child is known to increase the skin’s susceptibility to damage and skin cancer throughout life.

“Some simple tips for sun safety include:

  • Avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Wearing sun protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses
  • Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days
  • Reapplying sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating
  • Seeing your health care professional every year for a skin exam

“Our goal continues to be to help consumers make informed decisions and use sunscreen as an important part of a daily safe-sun program. It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as using your seat belt.”

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For more information on cosmetics and personal care products, please visit www.CosmeticsInfo.org

Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the leading national trade association representing global cosmetics and personal care products companies. Founded in 1894, PCPC’s 600 member companies manufacture, distribute and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S. As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on and trust every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.

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Study Demonstrates Environmental Risk Assessments on Coral Reefs Are Insufficient


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:     

Stefanie Harrington, (202) 615-6558, harringtons@personalcarecouncil.org
Jamie Kurke, (202) 258-5285, kurkej@personalcarecouncil.org

Study Demonstrates Environmental Risk Assessments on Coral Reefs Are Insufficient
Researchers Find Lack of Evidence that UV Sunscreen Filters are Significantly Impacting Corals

Washington, D.C. – A newly published critical scientific review by environmental scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) shows that ultraviolet (UV) sunscreen filters pose a minimal risk to coral. In addition, it underscores the need for further research to allow the scientific community to form a consensus based on reliable studies.

Carys Mitchelmore, Ph.D., professor, UMCES; Emily Burns, Ph.D., environmental scientist, PCPC; Andrew Heyes, Ph.D., associate research professor, UMCES; Annaleise Conway, graduate research assistant, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory; and Iain Davies, Ph.D., director of PCPC’s environmental science programs, co-authored the study, “Organic UV Filters in the Marine Environment: A Critical Review and Analysis of Coral Exposure, Hazard and Risk,” published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Degradation of the world’s coral reefs is a serious concern and evaluating the impact of UV filters is critically important. This comprehensive review of coral toxicity data and environmental monitoring of UV filter levels near coral reefs suggests that these filters do not pose a significant risk to corals residing in marine habitats, based on current data.

“Corals are faced with multiple physical, biological and chemical stressors, and currently there is very limited scientific data on the role that UV filters have on causing harm to the reefs,” said Mitchelmore. “That is why this review is so important. Scientists from academia, government and industry need to work together to best determine which stressors are most damaging to reefs to prioritize the most effective management and regulatory actions at the local through global scales.”

The review highlights major data gaps and also data reliability issues with several high-profile coral toxicity studies that have been used to justify several recent state sunscreen/UV filter restrictions. It is important that policymakers and regulators are aware of such data deficiencies before making any future environmental management decisions. Given the limited body of science currently available, the UMCES and PCPC authors provide research recommendations that will help to provide the data needed to conduct a conclusive risk assessment and help the scientific community reach a consensus on the environmental safety of UV filters.

“It is crucial to conduct robust environmental risk assessments for UV filters, and a key part of this work is ensuring the scientific community has comprehensive, reliable datasets. PCPC’s scientists are committed to working with experts from industry, academia, government and NGOs to achieve this goal through innovative environmental research,” Davies stated.

To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that under naturally occurring conditions, UV sunscreen filters contribute to the degradation of coral reefs. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program, coral reefs are threatened by an increasing array of impacts – primarily climate change, disease, coastal development, and a number of chemical contaminants from agricultural and other land-based sources.

Finally, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with one in five people in the U.S. expected to be diagnosed within their lifetime. Ninety percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Sunscreens are a proven preventative barrier to the harmful effects of solar radiation. Making environmental impact decisions on sunscreens based on insufficient scientific data can lead to unintended health consequences, such as fewer available sunscreens and an increase in the prevalence of skin cancer.

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For more information on cosmetics and personal care products, please visit www.CosmeticsInfo.org

Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the leading national trade association representing global cosmetics and personal care products companies. Founded in 1894, PCPC’s 600 member companies manufacture, distribute and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S. As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on and trust every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.

Partnerships: An Essential Ingredient for Success


Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, Personal Care Products Council

Each new year presents an opportunity to examine our priorities and focus on what matters most. As our nation continues to address the many challenges from 2020, PCPC stands ready in 2021 with renewed energy and sense of purpose.

As our country begins to heal from the tragic events of January 6 and focuses on unity in light of a new administration and new Congress, PCPC and our member companies remain steadfast in our commitment to bipartisan collaborations that enable and enhance our member companies’ ability to provide safe and innovative products to countless American families.

Partnerships are key to achieving meaningful solutions to some of our biggest challenges. From my professional experience in government and the private sector, I know we can accomplish the seemingly impossible by working together. I have seen incredible things achieved when people work towards a common goal.

The spirit of collaboration inspired PCPC to work with policymakers, regulators and NGOs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We engaged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Congress to issue temporary guidance allowing non-traditional manufacturers to address the critical shortage of hand sanitizers. Our members quickly converted manufacturing lines and increased production to provide these essential products. Companies donated more than 20 million units of hand sanitizer to hospitals, community clinics, medical and emergency professionals, first responders, industry employees and made them available to retail customers.

The nation also grappled with issues of systemic racism and calls for equality and social justice this past year. As an industry, we intend to be a positive agent of change and a force for good aiming to engage in partnerships that are both authentic and meaningful. We don’t have all the answers and know there is much work still to be done to address diversity. Working in coalition with many diverse organizations in 2020, PCPC supported anti-discrimination legislation, including the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, which passed the House in September. The CROWN Act became law in seven states in 2020 and is currently pending in 20+ states this year, preventing discrimination based on characteristics – such as hair texture and cultural styles, particularly those common in the Black community – and specifically recognizing that Black people are disparately impacted and excluded from some workplaces based on physical appearance. Similar legislation has been passed in seven states. Looking ahead, PCPC is committed to taking continued action to examine and address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), both within our organization and in the industry at large, and in partnership with others committed to the same goal.

PCPC’s work with Cruelty Free International proved to be another successful partnership, resulting in compromise agreement on state animal testing legislation, now pending in several states. At the federal level, we worked closely with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to introduce the Humane Cosmetics Act, which would ban cosmetic animal testing in the U.S. We will continue to work with HSUS and our congressional partners to pass this legislation in the 117th Congress.  

The power of partnerships was also demonstrated in our work with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA), American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and more than 60 other health, education and parent groups to support legislation that specifically allows sunscreens to be used in schools. To date, 26 states and Washington, D.C., have passed the “SUNucate” model.

Partnerships are key to our industry’s continued success, and we remain committed to deepening and broadening them in the year ahead. As President Biden noted: “To live together and work together. That’s how I see America. That’s how I see the presidency, and that’s how I see the future.” This year, PCPC re-dedicates itself to boldly push forward – confronting the challenges ahead while ensuring our member companies can continue to enhance the well-being of countless American families with the cosmetics and personal care products they trust and enjoy every day.