Holiday sunscreen 'costs pounds 313'

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The Independent Online
A family of four could spend pounds 313.74 on sunscreen protection during a two-week holiday, Labour claimed yesterday

And the party's spokesman on consumer affairs, Nigel Griffiths, protested that because of the "high price" of these products and "confusing information" on labels, many Britons were being put at risk of potentially deadly skin cancers.

Mr Griffiths said the Consumers' Association, the Cancer Research Campaign and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund were now calling for action to clarify how sunscreen should be used to protect against skin cancer.

Calculations by Labour's Consumer Policy Unit have disclosed, he said, that a family of four could have to pay up to pounds 313.74 for sunscreen coverage over a two-week holiday.

"Considering the high price, it is no wonder that 46 per cent of sunbathers do not use sunscreen at all," Mr Griffiths said.

He added that the calculation was based on market research conducted by the CA. This showed that the top 25 per cent of recommended sunscreens cost an average of pounds 2.49 per adult application. For a family of four, including two young children, this would equal pounds 7.47 per application. Applied three times a day over two weeks (42 applications), the sunscreen would cost pounds 313.74.

Mr Griffiths said: "It should be the duty of manufacturers to clearly label their product and protect consumers from the pain of sunburn and the threat of cancer. It is clear the public are confused and the manufacturers have not acted to resolve the problems."

"It is absurd that so many people pay so much and yet have to learn the hard way how unprotective their sunscreen is."

He added: "Labelling has to be clearer and manufacturers should make the product available at prices people can afford."

Mr Griffiths said that 40,000 Britons were diagnosed with skin cancer and that 2,000 deaths were attributed to it each year.

"In Scotland, where cases of melanoma, the most dangerous of skin cancers, have risen by a staggering 240 per cent in 20 years, the dangers of misleading labelling of sunscreens are even more real," he added.

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