Shoppers warned on SPF50+ sunscreen
Monday 07 January 2013
According to an official media release issued this week from the Cancer Council Queensland consumers are being warned to stay vigilant about their sun protection, with SPF50+ sunscreen hitting shelves across the state this month.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration announced the increase of sun protection factor in sunscreens from SPF30+ to SPF50+ in November 2012, with new products expected to fill supermarket and pharmacy shelves across Australia by mid-January 2013.
SPF50+ sunscreen offers marginally better UVB protection compared with SPF30+. The new standard also requires sunscreens labelled as SPF30+ or higher to comply with a new higher standard of UVA protection.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said it was important Queenslanders didn’t misinterpret the benefits of using SPF50+ sunscreen.
“SPF50+ filters out 98 per cent of UVB radiation compared to 96.7 per cent when using SPF 30+ sunscreen,” Ms Clift said.
“It’s important to know that SPF50+ is not a suit of armour, despite being a bigger number on the bottle. It doesn’t equate to an ability to spend any longer in the sun. SPF50+ needs to be applied just as liberally as SPF30+, every two hours.”
“We also need to remember that sunscreen in isolation is not sufficient protection. Queenslanders should Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies to reduce their skin cancer risk.”
In a state which has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, only 6 per cent of Queensland adults admit to taking all five recommended precautions during summer - Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
Cancer Council Queensland recommends the use of sunscreens that are broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF30+ or above. When applying, people should use one teaspoon of sunscreen per limb, front and back of the torso, and half a teaspoon on their face and neck.
Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland encourages sun protection through every season.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au