Last week, the New York State Assembly proposed a bill regarding sunscreen products sold in New York. If passed, all manufacturers will be required to place a clear and obvious expiration date and storage recommendation on their products.
The bill, which was was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Senator Charles Fuschillo, is currently in the hands of the State Senate. If approved by Governor Eliot Spitzer, it will become a law effective Jan. 1, 2008.
"Sunscreen products have an effective life of three to five years. However, biochemists from the Federal Drug Administration said that the strength breaks down after two years if a product, especially a seasonal product, is not properly stored. "
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"You don't know how long it's been in the store, where it was stored or how it was stored before you actually buy it, because there's no date to be used by or expiration date. You spend $14 for this big tube of stuff, use a little bit, so you keep it. But the theme should be, ‘When in doubt, throw it out.'
While most common household sunscreen names, such as Coppertone, already comply with these dates, some of the more expensive manufacturers do not. There should be no fiscal impact to the industry, because many of these products already have coded expiration dates with numbers that have meaning only to the manufacturers."