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Standards Australia proposition for SPF 50+ sunscreen open for public debate

By Pooja Kondhia , 22-Jul-2011
Last updated on 22-Jul-2011 at 12:27 GMT

Standards Australia has brought forward a proposal currently under consideration, which could see SPF 50+ sunscreen becoming the new standard.

An independent, not-for-profit organisation, recognised by the Australian government as the main non-governmental Standards body in Australia, Standards Australia has opened up the proposal to the public for comment.

Chief executive of Standards Australia, Colin Blair stated that members of the public, interested parties and consumers are invited to have their say on the new proposed standard through the public comment process.

Consumer protection

The draft standard, (DR AS/NZS 2504) proposes raising the SPF limit to 50+ in line with international trends as well as in recognition of consumer protection.

Furthermore, the draft standard will strive to bolster consumer protection even more, through the banning of misleading terms in labelling, such as ‘sun block’ and ‘water-proof’.

Blair elaborated, stating, “The draft standard outlines rigorous technical requirements and sets parameters for appropriate labelling to ensure that consumers can make informed choices”.

They say Australia is the sunburnt country, so this draft standard reflects genuine public interest and ultimately consumer demand. The draft standard is an important conversation starter on what is a critical public health issue for all Australians.”

Australian standards are prepared by a consensus process involving representatives nominated by organizations drawn from all major interest groups including consumers industry, retailers, manufacturers, government, medical practitioners and academia.

Sunscreen study

According to results from a study published in December 2010 by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), the use of sunscreen can prevent melanoma.

In this study, 1,621 randomly selected residents from Queensland participated in the trial; half the participants applied sunscreen every day and the other half continued to apply sunscreen as they would normally.

After 15 years, the number of people who developed melanomas from the discretionary sunscreen group was twice that of the group who had applied daily sunscreen in the trial.

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