COVINGTON, Ky. - Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) today joined the Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition in applauding the House Energy and Commerce Committee for bipartisan support and approval of the Sunscreen Innovation Act, H.R. 4250.
The bill approved by the committee Tuesday includes a transparent review process within a predictable timeline for all sunscreen applicants and the opportunity for Congressional oversight over the process to make sure the process is working as designed. The timelines include: final decisions on pending applications within one year and final decisions on new applications within one and a half years.
New sunscreen filters, including Ashland's EscalolTM S product, have been approved and on the market being used safely and effectively in countries around the world for over a dozen years. The Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA) will reform the process to make it transparent and timely with deadlines for decisions on products written into the statute.
"We have a product with a proven benefit to consumers, and we appreciate the committee's support in establishing a clear pathway for these products to be reviewed quickly and thoroughly," said John Riley, director of government relations for Ashland, which is a founding member of the PASS Coalition.
The bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R. 4250/S. 2141) was recently introduced by Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) in the House and Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in the Senate.
The last over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen ingredient to be approved by FDA was in the 1990s. Since 2002, eight new sunscreen applications have been filed and are still awaiting review 12 years later. New sunscreen technologies currently awaiting approval in the U.S. have been widely available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, in some cases for more than 15 years.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer - including melanoma - than the combined incidence of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. On average, one person dies every hour from melanoma, the deadliest of the skin cancers because of its ability to move quickly and spread to distant organs in the body, and melanoma rates are rising dramatically across demographics. Over the past 40 years, melanoma rates have increased 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men.
About Ashland In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit ashland.com to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Valvoline.
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