(Washington, DC) -- The Public Access to Sunscreens (PASS), Coalition today kicked off a campaign to fight the growing skin cancer epidemic in the United States by ensuring Americans have access to the latest effective sunscreens ingredients.
The PASS Coalition is a multi-stakeholder coalition of health organizations, sunscreen ingredient companies, dermatologists and concerned citizens who will work collaboratively with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the White House, Congress, health care providers, consumer organizations and sunscreen manufacturers to establish a framework for approval of the next generation of ultraviolet (UV) light active filters for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens.
According to a recent national survey, 85 percent of Americans use sunscreen in their daily lives. Furthermore, 86 percent of citizens support a program to ensure access to the latest sunscreen products and technology in the United States.
"In 2010, new clinical research on humans showed more convincingly than ever that sunscreen helps protect against melanoma and other skin cancers," said Shelby Moneer, health educator at the Melanoma Research Foundation.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer within their lifetime, according to the SkinCancer.org. However, a recent World Health Organization report determined that skin cancer is preventable. The 2010 study found that daily sunscreen use reduced the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by half. And while a report released this week in the journal Cancer suggests that a dose of aspirin a few times a week may help reduce the risk of developing melanoma, it is not considered a replacement for sunscreen protection.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the estimated total direct cost associated with the treatment of melanoma in the United States in 2010 was nearly $2.4 billion.
"America is a leader in innovation and scientific advancement, and yet while advanced sunscreen technology is available globally, it isn't available in the U.S," said Al Pearce, senior marketing manager, Personal Care for BASF Corporation. "The PASS Coalition intends to play an active role in calling on lawmakers and regulators to join forces to provide the public with the most effective and innovative sunscreens available."
According to statistics compiled by the Skin Cancer Foundation, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined frequencies of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
"Today skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States," said Harry Fallick, MD, board certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and CEO of Fallene LDT. "It only takes one bad sun burn before adulthood to increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life."
The current membership of the PASS Coalition includes: The Skin Cancer Foundation, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Melanoma Research Foundation, Dr. Fallick, Dr. Henry Lim, Dr. Nadim Shaath, Dr. Steven Wang, Dr. Warwick Morison, Beiersdorf, L'Oréal USA Products, Ashland Inc., BASF Corporation, DeWolf Chemical, Fitz Chem Corporation, and McCullough & Associates.