Eu watchdog insits on new safety standarts for suntan lotions

The EU watchdog said it would push manufacturers to agree to new safety labeling standards.

The Commission said current labels such as "broad spectrum", "100 percent anti-UVA/UVB/IR", and "strengthened protection UVA" should be banned, as they are vague and confusing to consumers.

"An SPF label on its own is not misleading, but it doesn't give the consumer the whole picture," Kreuzhuber added.

Because SPF only indicates the level of protection from UVB rays responsible for sunburn, Kreuzhuber said that consumers are not aware of a product's level of protection - if any - against UVA rays, which contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer.

Proper instructions are also withheld, the EU said in a statement, explaining that to reach an advertised level of protection, a sunbather must sometimes use one-third of a bottle.

The European Commission also called for the removal of phrases such as "sunblocker" and "total protection," because ultraviolet rays can penetrate even the highest levels of protection.

The Commission hopes to establish a voluntary set of recommendations for industry to follow in labeling for all sun care products marketed in the EU, including imports, over the next year, according to the AP.

This could also affect sunscreens sold elsewhere in the world, Kreuzhuber said.