Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Allergy Sufferers Call for Sunscreen Labelling Overhaul

Allergies among children are on the rise 
With the rise of allergies across Australia, particularly among children, parents are calling out for more transparent labelling on sunscreens as found in a recent poll we conducted. 

Therapeutic Products in Australia, of which sunscreens are included, are only required to list active ingredients, creating a loophole whereby manufacturers can hide the majority of ingredients that make up products. This may be detrimental to those prone to allergic outbreaks when in contact with certain ingredients or chemicals. 

We asked Australian consumers if they would like all ingredients to be listed on sunscreen packaging in Australia. Of the 300 participants, the results showed 99% of respondents said they would like all ingredients to be listed on sunscreens. 

MooGoo founder Craig Jones said with the increase in allergies, it is no wonder parents are urging for better labelling on sunscreens, one of Australia's most commonly used class of skin care products. 

"We know that some people, especially children, are unable to tolerate a range of ingredients and that the use of certain ones may cause rashes to develop of worse; this is not to say the ingredients are dangerous but rather that someone may have an allergy to it, just as people do certain foods," Mr Jones said. 

"We have always believed that skin care products should be labelled just as food is."

A 2013 report from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) found that allergies are the most rapidly growing chronic diseases in Australia and are most commonly found in children and adolescents. Skin care products make up one of the most common allergens alongside food, airborne particles and medications. 

Victorian mother Breigh Noble said she would like to see all ingredients contained within skin care products to determine the best for her son. 

"I agree wholeheartedly that all skin care ingredients should be listed on the product so that parents can more easily work out which products to use and which to avoid," said Mrs Noble. 

"I have picked up and then put down many products that don't list ingredients as I am not willing to take a chance with my son's health." 

Sunscreens make up one of the most commonly used
class of skin care products. 

It's not just parents calling out for these changes, but medical professionals too. Dr Joel Deeth of Anew Health reiterates the importance of transparent labelling on skin care products.

"It is essential that we know what we are putting in our bodies, and sunscreen is no exception," said Dr Deeth. 

"Full disclosure of ingredients would allow us to make informed decisions in light of any known sensitivities or allergies and ultimately guide us in making healthy choices for our skin."

Changes to product labelling have already been seen in the UK and the USA where sunscreens are required to list all ingredients. It is hoped Australia will soon follow suit particularly since the number of Australians affected by allergic diseases is expected to increase by 70% by 2050, according to the ASCIA. 

By Daniella De Azevedo 

3 comments:

  1. All ingredients should be listed on every product in my opinion. I don't like using many sunscreens because of all the chemicals that I have no idea of what they are and worry about post problems. I found they now make natural sunscreen without all the chemicals you normally see so I have switched to that as a healthier alternative.

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    1. Hello Clarissa

      I couldn't agree with you more. We strongly believe that all skin care should be treated like food, where consumers are entitled to know every ingredient contained within. There is a strong push towards natural products - which is great. But just note the preservative used. In some cases, an unnatural preservative is used despite the rest of the ingredients being all natural and the labelling claiming to be a natural product. This can be a little bit deceiving. :)

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  2. It's horrible to think that sunscreen which is meant to protect us can be so harmful. Many sunscreens are filled with harmful chemicals which are especially dangerous for people with allergies. Using natural sunscreen is essential if you have allergies.

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