Sunscreens are long overdue for a makeover: in fact active ingredients in US sunscreens haven't been updated for fifteen years, despite dermatologist and oncologist warnings that US sunscreens are not effective enough.
Today, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, an active supporter of the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), and founder of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, has put its support behind getting the Sunscreen Innovation Act passed through Congress.
The legislation, a bipartisan act to speed up the FDA's approval process, is badly needed since the FDA has not approved new sunscreen ingredients since 1999, despite numerous applications to provide wider protection from UV rays; ingredients that were approved years ago in Europe, Asia and South America.
“The FDA has finally adopted combination inhibitors for melanoma,” Jeffrey Epstein remarked, founder of the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation. “They should adopt the same accelerated measures for prevention of melanoma especially since these ingredients have proven to be safe in Europe and Asia.” Over the last decade, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard has played a pivotal role in advancing inhibitor treatment for cancer and viruses such as HIV.
In the United States, UVA filters commonly found in sunscreen are oxybenzone and avobenzone. While highly effective, they only guard against certain UVA rays or break down too quickly. The pending applications at the FDA include chemical filters Tinosorb S, Tinosorb M and Mexoryl SX, which experts say offer stronger and more durable UVA protection.
Today, more than 10,000 Americans die annually from melanoma but despite the need for additional protection, the FDA maintains a lengthy rule-writing process before it approves over-the-counter active ingredients and like many cancer drugs, the safety of each ingredient has to stand on its own merit individually before it can be tested as a combination.