On Thursday, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dr. Sullivan teamed up at a press conference to educate consumers about the new FDA sunscreen regulations, which stipulate that products be properly tested and labeled according to their ability to protect against the sun’s harmful rays.
Advocates Dr. Martin Weinstock, Professor of Dermatology at Brown University School of Medicine, and Mike Tamburro, President of the Pawtucket Red Sox, also attended the press conference, which was held at Dr. Sullivan’s Providence-based plastic surgery practice.
Dr. Sullivan and Senator Reed have worked closely on this important public health issue for over 16 years. As a plastic surgeon, Dr. Sullivan often sees the endpoint of years of sun damage when he removes cancerous lesions from his patients.
“During the past 16 years I have treated hundreds of patients with sun-related skin cancers,” says Dr. Sullivan. “What Senator Reed accomplishes through his sunscreen legislation and consumer education efforts has the potential to prevent skin cancer in thousands of people. It’s a really big opportunity for cancer prevention.”
Dr. Sullivan adds that requiring the makers of sunscreens to accurately label their products is key in helping consumers understand which products to use, and how to use them properly to best protect their skin against cancer.
Senator Reed has said that while this is an important step, more action is needed in the fight against preventable skin cancers. Next up on Reed’s agenda: Better education and regulation of the popular aerosol-based sunscreen products, as well as a comprehensive review of new sunscreen ingredients, which may offer even stronger protection against the sun’s rays.