Polling of almost 1300 people has found strong support for labelling nano-sunscreens, putting further pressure on the Federal Government to change its policy position.

The polling, commissioned by Friends of the Earth and conducted by the Australia Institute, has found that 85% of Australians want nano-ingredients in sunscreens labelled and 92% want safety testing before products hit the market. However to date the Federal Government has resisted calls for labelling nano-ingredients and for new safety standards for nano-sunscreens. This is despite expert warnings that in the worst case scenario, nano-sunscreens might actually increase the skin cancer.

“These poll results place further pressure on the Federal Government to close legal gaps that leave nano-sunscreens effectively unregulated” said Friends of the Earth nanotechnology spokesperson Dr. Gregory Crocetti.

“This overwhelming public support for mandatory labelling and safety testing is in line with the growing calls from community groups, consumer groups, unions and industry groups for labelling.”

“Leading scientists and dermatologists have warned that very young children, people with damaged skin and people who use sunscreen every day may be at the greatest risk from nanosunscreens”.

“Labelling is essential to help vulnerable sections of the population to choose nano-free sunscreens.”

“The Federal Government and the Therapeutic Goods Administration continue to reject efforts to provide people with an informed choice on nanoparticles in sunscreens. We are concerned that they are acting in the interests of the nanotechnology industry rather than public health”.

“Today, Friends of the Earth is releasing our new Safe Sunscreen Guide to help give all Australians an informed sunscreen choice.”

“We surveyed over 140 sunscreen brands and fortunately, there are a growing number of brands on the market going nano-free, so Australians can look to our guide to choose a nanofree sunscreen this summer.”