Summary title: Petition No 0895/2021 by Dominik Durlik (Polish) on changes to the current sunscreen cosmetics labelling rules
Petition number: 0895/2021
Topics: Competition, Consumer Rights, Health, Industry and Entreprise, Internal Market
Country: European Union
Name: Dominik Durlik
The petitioner highlights that European Commission regulates sunscreens as cosmetics, as they do not provide 100% protection against UV radiation. Nonetheless, they can serve as an effective tool to decrease the odds of developing skin cancer by limiting the absorption of UV rays by the skin. The Commission Recommendation on the efficacy of sunscreen products instructs that sunscreen makers should make claims based on similar criteria to ease the process of selecting suncare products for the consumers. The Recommendation states that sunscreens should offer a proportionate level of protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. The protection level against UVA radiation, measured using the persistent pigment darkening testing method, should be equal to at least a third of the protection against UVB radiation.. Products that meet the standard ought to carry labels with their determined SPF number value and a logo with the letters' UVA' enclosed in a circle. In Section 4 of the document, point 12 states that UVA and UVB protection claims should solely be made if a product's properties match the abovementioned standard. Unfortunately, currently on the European market, many suncare products do not meet the standard. Nevertheless, companies make claims in reference to UVA protection by adopting varied terminology that is often borrowed from regulative bodies from outside the EU, such as 'UVA/UVB Protection, 'Broad Spectrum', or the recently growing in popularity PA rating system adapted in Asia (but not in the EU). The petitioner alleges that such non-EU approved labels, commonly found on products, make the selection of sun care challenging and create unequal competition. The petitioner notes that in his view, consumers are deceived by unregulated labelling tactics and are unaware of the fact that the products they purchase may not shield them from the harmful effects of the sun's rays.Therefore, he is petitioning to make the current Recommendation an EU-wide law that would oblige all sunscreen makers to properly formulate and label their products in order to be allowed for use in the EU. Ultimately, this will provide the European public with sunscreens delivering high levels of protection against UVA and UVB radiation and create equal competition for all sunscreen makers. An alternative would be to introduce new labelling symbols that would indicate if a product does not provide an adequate level of protection against UVA rays, e.g. the letters' UVA' in a crossed-out circle. He also petitions that the European Commission revise the sunscreen labelled categories.