Monday, Oct 24, 2016
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Legislation addresses sunscreen regulations

Melanoma rates have increased in America

Though probably too late for this summer, Americans will get more options to ward off skin cancer if the U.S. Senate passes legislation similar to what the U.S. House of Representatives approved by a voice vote this week.

The full House approved the Sunscreen Innovation Act, but a nearly identical bill remains mired in the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where it has been since it was introduced in March.

The bill calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to streamline regulations that have kept U.S. sunscreens from being made with as many active ingredients as those found in other parts of the world.

U.S. sunscreen manufacturers are limited to three active ingredients domestically, but can sell products in Europe with as many as seven.

America is ranked by the World Health Organization as having one of the highest incidences of skin cancer.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R., Ky.) co-authored the House version, with U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) and 33 other congressmen signing on as co-sponsors.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) are co-sponsors of the Senate proposal, which was written by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D., R.I.) and Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.).

The FDA has not approved a sunscreen ingredient in nearly two decades.

Mr. Dingell called it “common sense legislation that will allow American citizens fair and safe access to the very best sunscreen products available.”

In the past 40 years, melanoma rates have increased by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men, according to the Melanoma Research Alliance.

Contact Tom Henry at: or 419-724-6079.

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