Commission wants to improve sunscreen labelling

A Commission is set to issue a recommendation to industry on how to label sunscreens properly to protect consumers from misleading claims, such as ‘sunblocker’, which only gives impression of total protection.

Sunscreen products contribute to protect skin from harmful UV radiation and prevent sun-burn. However, no suncscreen product can deliver total protection from UV radiation, even if some claim to be a “sun block’ or to offer ‘total protection’. The Commission has launched a public consultation in view of issuing a recommendation on various aspects of efficacy and claims relating to sunscreen products. The Commission is set, for example, to ban the ‘sunblocker’ claim and to recommend industry to provide for clear application instructions along with the products.

“Consumers must be made fully aware that no sunscreen product can provide 100% protection against hazardous UV-radiation. There are serious health risks, such as skin cancer, linked to insufficient protection from the sun. EU citizens need to be fully informed about what sunscreens will and will not do for them,” said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

The Commission will issue its recommendation after the consultation process, and the industry is expected to apply standardised and understandable labelling of sunscreen products as of 2007.

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