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Slip, spill, slap, search, slip has been a key message during Australian summers for generations.

The iconic sun protection campaign reminds us to put on a shirt, put on sunscreen, put on a hat, find shade, and put on sunglasses.

But with Summer Vacation Later, the Cancer Council has urged Australians to be cautious about how they apply sunscreen, following new research from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Sunscreen
The Cancer Council has urged Australians to be cautious when wearing sunscreen. (iStock)
The new research shows spray sunscreens They are putting Australians at risk for sunburn, and the products make it difficult to obtain sufficient levels of UV protection.

“Our advice in the first place is to avoid the use of spray sunscreen products, however, if that is your preference, then be very careful,” said Heather Walker of SunSmart.

“The packaging advises consumers to ‘use generously’ or ‘apply generously,’ which is open to interpretation and leaves them vulnerable.

“Even literally saturating your body with the product may not provide the level of protection you expect.”

Alarming new research shows aerosol sunscreens are putting Australians at risk for sunburn, with products making it difficult to obtain sufficient levels of UV protection. (Getty)

QUT’s research found that the spray times required for aerosol sunscreens to reach the UV protection level stated on the package ranged from 4 to 14 seconds per limb or 29 to 98 seconds for a full-body application.

But the researchers cautioned that spray times would be significantly longer when used in everyday situations such as Beach.

Based on nine popular commercially available spray sunscreen products, some only contained less than half as much sunscreen.

Dr Rick Tinker, director of assessment and advice for the Australian Agency for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (ARPANSA), said discrepancies between aerosol brands make it difficult for consumers to know how much sunscreen they are actually applying.

“Three of the aerosols tested could only adequately cover two full-body applications, not enough to protect a family,” Tinker said.

“To account for variations between aerosol brands, the product should also be applied in larger quantities to be safe.

“Using a cream or lotion is likely to be a more reliable way to ensure adequate coverage is achieved.”

Almost 2,000 people die each year from skin cancer in Australia, one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. (Getty)

Almost 2,000 people die each year from skin cancer in Australia, one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

The Australian government estimates that nearly one person every 30 minutes was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, this year.

Despite its prevalence, skin cancer can be almost completely prevented with good sun protection.

“Regardless of the type of sunscreen, sunscreen should always be considered the last line of defense after protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, wrap-around sunglasses and shade,” said Ms. Walker.


www.9news.com.au

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