The Skinny on Sunscreen

The earliest synthetic sunscreens were first pioneered in the 1940s to help protect against skin cancer and sunburns—giving it an important place on the list of 100 Objects that Shaped Public Health.

People didn’t start slathering it on widely though until decades later; the US FDA first proposed standards for sunscreen safety and effectiveness in the late 1970s. Deceptive marketing and sales gimmicks by manufacturers then spurred the agency to update its regulations in 2012.

Check GHN every Wednesday for an up-close look at one of the objects that made the list published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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