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Behind Sunscreens’ Confusing Figures

Filed in National Health News, Newsroom 7/15/15 at 11:38 am     1348     The Wall Street Journal

It has been two years since new Food and Drug Administration rules regarding sunscreen labeling went into full effect. But many consumers are still in the dark about what those labels say.

No wonder. The information that sunscreen labels provide, though useful, is cryptic. Not all of the pertinent data are spelled out. And the most familiar icon on a sunscreen label, the sun protection factor, isn’t even a unit of measurement: SPF 15 doesn’t measure 15 of anything.

Still, the protection sunscreens afford is valuable. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most varieties, including melanoma, the deadliest kind, are caused by exposure to the ultraviolet light that sunscreens help filter out.

Read the rest at The Wall Street Journal

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