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Some Aerosol Sunscreens Need To Be Sprayed For '250 Seconds Per Limb' To Be Effective

You would have to spray aerosol sunscreen for a few minutes per limb to achieve the SPF protection that's labelled on many products, the Cancer Council warns.

The council and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency have together urged Australians to choose lotion over aerosol sunscreen as much of the spray is lost in the wind, rendering it less effective.

Their research into the impact of wind on the application of sunscreen has found the proportion of aerosol sunscreen lost due to typical wind conditions ranged between 32 per cent and 93 per cent.

The study found that four of the five sunscreen products tested would require more than one bottle to provide adequate full body coverage in 20km/h wind conditions.

A person would need to spray an aerosol sunscreen in some cases for "up to 250 seconds per limb" to achieve the SPF protection as labelled on the product, the council said.

Chair of Cancer Council Australia's national skin cancer committee, Heather Walker, said the council welcomed the Therapeutic Goods Administration's recent announcement of a review into the efficacy of aerosol sunscreens.

"With aerosol sunscreens, it is very difficult to obtain the amount of sunscreen to the body that is necessary to get good UV protection, potentially leaving Australians' skin inadequately protected from harmful UV radiation and increasing their skin cancer risk," Ms Walker said.

Director of assessment and advice for ARPANSA, Rick Tinker, said if applied correctly, and in combination with other forms of sun protection, sunscreen lotions can lower our melanoma risk.

"Use seven teaspoons of sunscreen for an adult full body application: one teaspoon for each arm and leg, one for the front of the torso, one for the back, and one for the face, neck and ears," Dr Tinker said.

AAP with The Project