‘Broad Spectrum’ Means UVA Plus UVB Protection
A SUMMARY From Web MD Health News…June 14, 2011
Sunscreen labels will carry a “broad spectum” label to show they offer protection against UVA rays as well as UVB, according to the –click ** new rule ** from FDA.
Products currently labeled as “broad spectrum” may or may not protect against UVA. The new rule reserving the “broad spectrum” claim only for products that protect against UVA and UVB will not take effect until the summer of 2012.
The old “SPF” designation will still show how well a product protects against UVB rays. But products with the new “broad spectrum” label will have to pass a test showing that they protect against UVA, too. The higher the SPF level on these broad-spectrum sunscreens — up to SPF 50 — the better they protect against both UVA and UVB.
UVB radiation is responsible for sunburn and plays a major role in causing skin cancer. It affects only the outer layer of the skin. UVA, while less intense than UVB, is 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB and penetrates to deeper layers of the skin. UVA is the dominant tanning ray and is closely linked to skin aging. It also damages skin DNA and causes skin cancer. See part 2