14 November 2012

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The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing evidence-based, non-prescription consumer healthcare products, today welcomed a new legal standard for sunscreens that will provide greater sun protection for Australians.
All new sunscreens listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will need to comply with AS/NZS 2604:2012 Sunscreen products-Evaluation and classification.
From this week, manufacturers will be able to launch new sunscreens to Australian consumers that provide greater protection across the sun's UV spectrum - the UVB largely responsible for sunburn and the UVA deeper penetrating wavelengths, which are considered to be mainly responsible for the longer term skin damage including skin cancers.

The change will see the maximum sun protection factor (SPF) increase from 30+ to 50+ thereby providing greater protection to consumers. The new broad spectrum testing requirements will also ensure that the UVA protection is always proportionate to the SPF on the label.

All new sunscreens listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will need to comply with the new Standard.

As always, to get the full benefits, sunscreen needs to be applied to all exposed parts of the body, liberally and carefully before sun exposure and re-applied regularly to avoid rub-off through towelling, swimming, and perspiration.

All sunscreen products already listed with the TGA and compliant with the previous standard remain available and will still be allowed to be manufactured and sold.
As the manufacturer updates their product range, they will be required to comply with the new standard, and older formulas may no longer be available. The existing SPF 30+ products continue to provide excellent sun protection.

The Executive Director of ASMI, Dr Deon Schoombie said that even with the new, higher standard, Australians still need to recognise that wearing sunscreen is just one part of a total sun protection strategy.

"The other steps include wearing protective clothing, wearing a hat and sunglasses and avoiding sun exposure by staying in the shade as much as possible, particularly during the hottest part of the day."
About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak industry body for the Australian self care industry representing consumer healthcare products including over-the-counter medicines and complementary medicines. ASMI's mission is to promote better health through responsible self-care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self-care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy.

Media contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications (02) 9241 2811, 0412 753 298