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American Academy of Dermatology’s statement on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report on environmental impact of currently marketed sunscreens and potential human impacts of changes in sunscreen usage

Statement from Mark D. Kaufmann, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Aug. 9, 2022) — The American Academy of Dermatology supports the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s recommendation that the U.S. EPA conducts an ecological risk assessment of UV filters to characterize possible risks to aquatic ecosystems and the species that live in them. As the report released today makes clear, the science in this area is limited and inconclusive. In addition, the Academy supports the recommendation that studies be conducted to determine how any changes to the availability of UV filters would impact human health.

It is well established that unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays is a major risk factor for skin cancer. Since exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, it’s important that everyone protect their skin from the sun.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every day. The use of sunscreen is one way to minimize short-term and long-term damage to the skin from the sun and to reduce the risk of skin cancer. In addition to applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, the AAD also recommends that people seek shade and wear sun-protective clothing, including a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.



Rhys Saunders, rsaunders@aad.org

Angela Panateri, apanateri@aad.org

Media Relations, mediarelations@aad.org