2011-04-15 / Community

Pheffer Says ‘When In Doubt, Throw It Out’

Spring is upon us and sunny weather is soon to follow. Whether you are planning a holiday vacation, marching in a parade, sunbathing at Rockaway Beach, or enjoying a trip to the ballpark, it is important to protect yourself from the elements of the sun.

According to the American Cancer Society, over 800,000 new skin cancer cases of highly curable basal cell cancers are diagnosed every year. Furthermore, because of the link between severe sunburn in childhood and a greater risk of melanoma in later life, children should be protected from the sun. Sunscreen is very important in protecting you and your family from damage caused by sun exposure. Many people, however, are unaware that sunscreens can lose their effectiveness over time. Most sunscreens have a lifespan of one to three years and after three years the active ingredients can deteriorate, thereby decreasing protection.

The New York State Assembly has repeatedly passed legislation, which would require sunscreen products to be labeled with expiration dates. In addition to passing this legislation, the Assembly has passed a resolution calling on Congress to enact federal legislation to require all sunscreen products to be labeled with expiration dates and storage requirements. The FDA is currently developing new regulations for sunscreen.

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