#Freethesunscreens Calls President Obama to Help Fight Against Skin Cancer

May 27 is unofficially "Sunscreen Day" (#SunscreenDay) and yesterday The Public Access to SunScreens Coalition called on Americans to sign the recently launched "We the People" White House petition  that calls on the Obama Administration to act immediately to fight skin cancer by ensuring Americans by ensuring Americans have access to the latest sunscreen technology.


The petition sparked a national social media hashtag campaign using: #Freethesunscreens calling on President Obama to act immediately. 

The Sunscreen Innovation Act has been an active law for 6 months and yet nothing has changed except rising Melanoma rates. 

8 pending sunscreen ingredients are FDA pending, some even for over a decade without final decisions, despite the enactment of the bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act signed into law in November 2014. 

PASS released a statement:

“We are hopeful that the recently launched petition will engage the White House in helping to solve this sunscreen backlog.”

“Americans have gone more than a decade without the kinds of innovative sunscreen products citizens in other countries have enjoyed for years. Meanwhile, skin cancer has become a public health crisis that is only getting worse according to the US Surgeon General,” said Michael Werner, PASS Coalition Policy Advisor.

Upon the time the Sunscreen Innovation Act was signed into law last year, Americans expected that they would soon be able to get the latest technology when it comes to sunscreen. They've been available to citizens in countries around the world. But 6 months have gone by and the FDA still hasn't approved these sunscreens, despite a successful track record of safety and effectiveness. 

Policy Advisor Werner concluded:

"We are hopeful that the recently launched petition will engage the White House in helping to solve this sunscreen backlog."

#Freethesunscreens Hashtag Campaign


The #freethesunscreens petition was launched to get the Obama Administration to act immediately to fight skin cancer by ensuring consumers have access to the latest in sunscreen technology. The petition requires 100,000 signatures by June 21st to garner a response from the White House. 

Click here to sign and share the petition:https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/act-immediately-fight-skin-cancer.

Skin Cancer and Melanoma

Melanoma is staged mainly by determining the thickness of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Determining the thickness of the tumor is done using a newer staging system called Breslow’s thickness. Breslow’s thickness is a measure of how deeply the tumor has penetrated the skin. The tumor thickness is usually measured from the top of the tumor to the deepest tumor cells.

Did you know one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime? It's one of the most common and deadliest cancers. As summer approaches, being mindful of your sun exposure is key. Here's some tips to get started.

From 1975-2011, rates of melanoma in young men and women ages 20-39 years increased by 34% in men and by 84% in women. According to the Surgeon General, nearly 5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer and one person dies every hour of every day from melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. The cost to treat skin cancer is over $8 billion, which doesn’t include the pain and suffering for families that lose their loved ones from the disease. 

The bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (Public Law No: 113-195) streamlined the approval process for new sunscreen ingredients to ensure that new sunscreen ingredients receive a transparent review within a predictable timeframe. The law was intended to ensure the American public gains access to the latest safe, effective and innovative sunscreen products to protect against the sun’s most harmful rays.

The last over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen ingredient to be approved by FDA was in the 1990s. Since 2002, eight new sunscreen applications have been filed and are still awaiting final decisions 13 years later. New sunscreen technologies currently awaiting approval in the U.S. have been widely available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, in some cases for more than 15 years.