News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Consumer Test Shows Cancer Society Sunscreen Fails

8 February 2008

Consumer Test Shows Cancer Society Sunscreen Fails

Consumer NZ announced today that tests it had done of the Cancer Society sunscreen SPF 30+ Trigger Spray showed it significantly failed to meet the SPF claim. The Cancer Society has agreed to urgently recall the sunscreen.

The Consumer-commissioned test was carried out on 10 volunteers. The sunscreen achieved only an average SPF of 23.3.

Cancer Society sunscreens are among the most popular in the country and Consumer has not taken this step lightly. It believes the Cancer Society should now urgently test the SPF claims on all its sunscreen products.

Consumer NZ CEO Sue Chetwin said it had alerted the Cancer Society to its findings this week. The society has retested Consumer’s test sample and some of its own. Preliminary results also show a significant failure, with an average SPF of less than 20.

“This is a major public health issue, particularly in New Zealand with its high rate of melanoma and at this time of high UV levels. The Cancer Society needs to look at urgently testing all its products.”

Consumer decided to do the testing after it received a complaint from a consumer in November last year. Ginette McConnochie questioned the efficacy of the sunscreen after she noticed several people, including her daughter, had been burnt while using the spray, although they had been reapplying it regularly. We asked the Cancer Society for evidence to support the 30+ SPF claim and were sent test results that showed the product had an average SPF of 31.1 when tested to the sunscreen standard on 10 people with different skin types. However, this testing was done in 2001, so we decided to commission our own tests at the same laboratory.

Ginette also complained to the Cancer Society. The society contacted the manufacturer, Baxter Laboratories in Australia, which said that their monitoring showed that all batches of the sunscreen met the specifications for active ingredients and for stability. The society did not commission an SPF test.

In December the laboratory notified us that preliminary tests indicated that the sunscreen may not meet its claims. Ms Chetwin said this was of major concern, but Consumer did not want to cause unnecessary alarm if the testing could be proved to be wrong, so it commissioned the lab to test to the full standard. Consumer received the results this week. They showed the sunscreen still did not meet its claims.

Consumer is also concerned that no test for SPF has been carried out since the product was launched in 2001. Six years is a long time to have a product on the market and not re-test its performance.

The SPF (sun protection factor) is a measure of a sunscreen’s protection against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

The December issue of Consumer examines sunscreen claims and answers common sunscreen questions. The article is also available to members on www.consumer.org.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>

Howard Davis: The Takács Quartet

With a repertoire that spans three centuries of classical masterpieces and contemporary compositions, the Takács Quartet has an international reputation for its delicate artistry and technical virtuosity. More>>

Howard Davis: A Doll's House at Circa

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is considered to be one of the founders of theatrical Modernism and is often referred to as "the father of realism" in the European tradition. More>>

Howard Davis: Redmer Yska's A Strange Beautiful Excitement

Wallace Stevens said that "a vocation recognizes its material by foresight" ... Redmer Yska might find the comparison immodest, yet in his own way he has done something similar.
More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION