TORONTO — A Health Canada review of sunscreens has found no new safety concerns, although the federal department found mild to moderate skin reactions can occur in people sensitive to the products’ ingredients on rare occasions.
The review followed Health Canada’s testing earlier this year of 27 sunscreen brands. It did not identify any serious concerns with the quality of the products.
Questions about sunscreen safety arose in summer 2017 when Health Canada received a higher than usual number of reports describing skin reactions related to the use of Banana Boat products.
Several mothers complained that their babies suffered burn injuries after using a Banana Boat sunscreen. A B.C. woman said her 12-year-old son developed severe blisters after using one of the products.
Health Canada suggests consumers test children, and especially babies, for a reaction before using sunscreen broadly. This can be done by using a product on a small patch of skin on the inner forearm for several days in a row.
Stop using the product if the skin turns red or develops an unusual reaction. Medical care should be sought in the case of children and babies.
Health Canada says regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher helps to prevent sunburn and reduces the risk of skin cancer.