WASHINGTON — Amidst a rare rewrite of the rules for sunscreen and with new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) findings in hand that reveal many of its ingredients can ‘seep into the bloodstream’ after 24 hours from application, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is demanding the federal agency review ALL the active ingredients in sunscreen to determine which should be removed before new rules take effect in November.

“There is no doubt about it: sunscreen has been a life-saver, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the latest science and the best data to ensure that it is as safe as possible,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “That’s why, amidst the rare rewrite of sunscreen rules, where the FDA is looking into everything from packaging to protection, the one thing I am urging them to not get wrong and to move swiftly to address relates to the ingredients. We know very little about some of them and what they might do in our bloodstream, but we have the ability and the technology to find out.”

In February of 2019, the FDA announced its intention to update the regulatory requirements for most sunscreen products to “addresses sunscreen active ingredient safety, dosage forms, and sun protection factor (SPF) and broad-spectrum requirements.” The FDA also proposed updates to how products are labeled to make it easier for consumers to identify key product information.

Specifically, the agency desires to know more about twelve of sixteen active ingredients that make up the variety of OTC sunscreen brands. Only two of these active ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are considered safe and effective.

Another two ingredients, PABA, an acid, and trolamine salicylate, are not, and the FDA is proposing those two ingredients be banned. But for the other twelve chemicals, there is a big question mark. While the FDA is seeking more information on the other twelve, Schumer said new research showing that sunscreen seeps into people’s bloodstreams is enough evidence that the FDA needs to double down on its efforts and use this rule change as a chance to make sure sunscreen is safe.

“The FDA must uncloud all additives in sunscreen before closing the book on the new rules and industry must fully cooperate with this cause, because if we can make sunscreen safer for children and adults — an OTC product without a single side effect — it will do even more good for the millions of people who slather it on each year,” Schumer added.

“The joint JAMA and FDA findings which detailed bloodstream absorption with some of the ingredients demand a renewed screen test because that study only left us with concerns and was devoid of answers on what to do,” Schumer said.

The conclusion of the recent ingredient study “presented the need for further studies to determine the clinical significance of the findings.” Schumer said the FDA should hit the gas on this work because “we don’t want people to discontinue the use of sunscreen worrying about their bloodstream, but we also want to make sure the product is as safe as possible and manufactured using only the current and best available science.”

Schumer added that as the summer months heat up it is critical that New Yorkers routinely use sunscreen.

“Skin cancer affects more than 3 million people each year, and responsibly using sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent it," he said.