Environmental Working Group Sees Improvements, but Still Gives Industry Low Marks
WebMD Health News
July 2, 2009 — Sunscreens are improving, but three of five brand-name products either don’t protect the skin from sun damage sufficiently, contain hazardous chemicals, or both, according to a report by the watchdog organization Environmental Working Group (EWG).
“I’d give the industry a C minus,” says Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research. “They have moved from a D to a C-minus in my book.”
Overall, however, she says the industry is “not doing enough to protect consumers from UVA radiation.”
The report is called the EWG 2009 Sunscreen Guide. An industry spokesman says the report is flawed.
Dermatologists who reviewed the report for WebMD offered praise and criticism. “Some points are definitely correct,” says Henry Lim, MD, chairman of the department of dermatology at Henry Ford Health Systems, Detroit. But, he adds, ”This report has somewhat of an alarmist tone.”
Sandra Read, MD, a Washington, D.C., dermatologist and member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Dermatology, says she finds the report discouraging but says she hopes it will raise awareness of the need for sunscreen.