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Gill Heath
County Councillor Gill Heath

People urged to take care when buying sunglasses and sunscreen during national awareness week

Staffordshire residents are being reminded to check that new sunglasses and sunscreen offer the necessary protection and are not counterfeits as part of a national awareness week.

The county council’s trading standards team has issued a reminder during Sun Awareness Week that people should only buy from reputable traders and be careful if buying online.

All sunglasses should have the CE European safety standard mark. Counterfeit sunglasses and some cheap imports often offer no UVA and UVB protection, meaning they can damage people’s eyes. They may also have distorted lenses.

Sunglasses should be labelled and information should include the brand, manufacturer and manufacturer’s address. In addition, all sunglasses are categorised zero to four, where four is the darkest tint. The category must be labelled correctly as people shouldn’t drive wearing sunglasses which are categorised as four.

Counterfeit sunscreen made to look like leading brands could cause serious harm – giving no protection against harmful rays from the sun and in some cases containing substances which could cause irritation to the skin.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:

Counterfeit sunglasses or sunscreen more often than not will offer no protection at all which is clearly dangerous.

Lenses with no UV protection can damage eyes, while people can suffer sunburn or skin irritations by using sunscreen that’s ineffective with no way knowing what’s in it. Price is usually an indicator as to whether an item is genuine – if it is too good to be true then it probably is.”