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Multicenter methodology comparison of the FDA and ISO standard for measurement of in vitro UVA protection of sunscreen products

Bielfeldt, S., Klette, E., Rohr, M., Herzog, B., Grumelard, J., Hanay, C., Heinrich, U., Hansen, P., Kockott, D., Lademann, J., Mendrok-Edinger, C., Peters, S., Rudolph, T., Schläger, T., Tronnier, H., Wiechers, S., Zastrow, L., Pflücker, F.
Journal of photochemistry and photobiology 2018 v.189 pp. 185-192
UV filters, irradiation, polymethylmethacrylate, roughness, sunscreens, surface roughness, wavelengths, Germany
In vitro standard methods are available and accepted worldwide to assess UVA protection of sunscreen products. Though, harmonisation of methods has made progress in the last decade, still two differing methods - one by FDA the other by ISO - are in use. In a multicentre study including 9 centres in Germany, 4 different commercial sunscreen products were assessed using both methods to discover their similarities and differences. UVA protection factor and Critical Wavelength were detected at various substrate type (sandblasted versus moulded PMMA plates), at different surface roughness of the plates as well as at different product application dose using two different irradiation spectra.Results: The strongest influence on UVA protection factor results from the surface roughness of the plates. Depending on the roughness (accepted range of 2 to 7 μm in the FDA method) a variability in the UVA protection factor of up to 25% was observed, while the much narrower definition of plate roughness by ISO (4.5 to 5.2 μm) had no relevant influence on the test results. Sandblasted plates in our assessment led to higher UVA protection factors and produced less scattered results compared to moulded plates. These differences were not pronounced. Application dose and spectra of the irradiation source were of negligible influence on UVA protection factor results for the investigated UV-filter combinations. The UVA protection factor which is the endpoint of the ISO method was found to be a parameter with a high potential to differentiate among different test products. The endpoint of the FDA method - the Critical Wavelength - was found to be an unambitious endpoint. Insensitivity to all described modifications of the method was observed. All investigated products performed similar and passed the Critical Wavelength criteria independent of method and parameters.