The FDA is taking a step toward regulating dangerous skin care product use on airplanes.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued its first guidance to airlines on how they can prevent harmful skin care, according to the Federal Aviation Adminstration.
The new rule requires airlines to report suspected skin irritants in passenger-carrying aircrafts to airlines, including sunscreen and deodorant, and other ingredients that are used to prepare skin for travel.
Airlines have until Dec. 31 to respond.
The rule is designed to better identify potentially harmful ingredients and more easily inform passengers about the dangers of using products on planes.
The FDA says it has identified more than 2,000 products that pose health risks to airline passengers, but the agency is not yet making sure those are the ones the airlines use.
“This is a good start,” said Dr. John W. Campbell, an allergist and board certified dermatologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is not involved in the new rule.
“But the bigger issue is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all rule, and it will not be an easy fix.”
The new FDA guidance does not require airlines to take specific steps to address the concerns about products, such as banning them altogether.
The agency said airlines must still ensure that they have enough information about the ingredients in a product to make informed decisions about how to prepare their own air travelers.
The FDA said airlines should also:Ensure that their aircrews and cabin crew have training in the safe handling of skin irritant ingredients, including deodorants and sunscreen.
Require aircrew to be trained to handle allergen-controlling products, including sunscreens and deodorsants.
“The most important part of the regulation is that we are going to make sure that aircrew understand how to handle these ingredients, and that they understand what is needed for their safety,” Campbell said.
The FDA also issued a statement on its website clarifying the agency’s position on the FDA’s proposal to allow airlines to ban certain products.
The FAA said it wants to ensure that air crews have the necessary training to use deodorizers and sunscreen, but that the FAA has yet to specify how the training would be provided.
For example, if airlines are concerned that a deodorizer might be causing allergic reactions in passengers, they should contact their medical providers.
But if they do not know the safety of their deodorator, they need to know how to use it safely, the FAA said.
Other safety issues, such the use of a sunscreen that contains a skin irritator, should be avoided, the agency said.
While the new FDA regulation does not specify how airlines should monitor products for skin irritations, the FDA said the agency should ensure that the products they use are tested to make certain they do, such a test should be performed once every 24 hours.
The Food and Drug Administration is still reviewing the FAA’s proposal, but Campbell said the FDA is working with airlines to develop a protocol that would ensure that all the ingredients on a product are tested for.
The company of Campbell is the world’s leading dermatologist, so he is familiar with the agency.
He said it is not possible to create a single rule, but he hopes the new guidance will give airlines more time to work out how to ensure their air crews are trained to use the product safely.