Are you getting burned by your sunscreen? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Are you getting burned by your sunscreen?

NATIONAL (NBC) - Thursday is the first day of summer, conjuring up thoughts of basking in the sunshine.

Unfortunately, there are new concerns about sunscreens.

The US Food and Drug Administration is currently rewriting the rules for manufacturers to make sure their labels tell you exactly what kind of protection you're getting.

And right now, that's not always the case.

Chances are when choosing a sunscreen, you've been relying on that sun protection factor or SPF number on the bottle.

And if so, the experts say you may be getting burned.

"The SPF is a little misleading because it doesn't mention all of the important radiation spectrums," Dr. Sandra Read said, from the American Academy of Dermatology.

SPF measures UVB rays, which causes sunburns, but not UVA, which can cause wrinkles, and worse.

"Ultraviolet A does cause skin cancer," Dr. Read said.

That's why the Food and Drug Administration is now writing up new rules that would force manufacturers to better spell out the kind of protection they provide.

"A lot of claims on the bottle may not be true," Jane Houlihan said, from the Environmental Working Group.

In a new study of 783 sunscreens, the environmental working group found a whopping 84 percent either provided inadequate protection or ingredients with safety concerns.

"One of every eight high SPF products don't protect you from UVA, just UVB," says Houlihan.

That means until the government acts, you may have to do a little more research, and follow the "S's."

"Slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slop on your sunscreen, seek the shade and wear your sunglasses outside. So slip, slap, slop and shade," Dr. Read said.

Posted by Bryce Mursch

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