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Parliamentary petition calls for affordable and effective sunscreen

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A Parliamentary Petition has been issued, calling for the regulation of sunscreens in New Zealand as well as funding of effective sunscreens for low income and high risk populations.

The Petition, issued by Wellington resident and mother of two, Kylie Findlay, follows a 2018 Consumer New Zealand study that found six out of ten sunscreens tested failed to deliver on their SPF ratings.

"The sunscreen industry is not deemed therapeutic and remains unregulated. I believe this is dangerous and unacceptable," Ms Findlay said.

Scientists have estimated that 80 per cent of total lifetime sun exposure takes place before the age of 18 years and Ms Findlay is proposing that once a sunscreen has been proven to meet its therapeutic claims it should be funded for low income families, schools, play centres and kindergartens.

"In a country where we have a homeless crisis, hungry school kids, and period poverty, sunblock can be a big expense," she said.

According to the Ministry of Health, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of sun exposure related health issues, including melanoma, and sunblock is recommended as the best preventative measure against this.

Research from Otago University has also found that the incidence of malignant melanoma in Maori has nearly doubled. A 90 per cent increase over 11 years compares with a 12 per cent increase for pakeha.

"I am asking the government to regulate the efficacy of sunblock to ensure the claims made are able to be fully substantiated," Ms Findlay said.

With 566 signatures recorded so far, the petition is open on the Parliamentary website until 24 November.

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