Prohibition Follies: Camps Ban Sunscreen as Drug

Lindsay Beyerstein

Gateway drugs. Pretty soon they'll be snorting athlete's foot powder.

Some camps and schools have banned sun­screen because it’s a drug:

But sun­screen rules are com­mon. They typ­i­cal­ly stem from state and local poli­cies that stop kids from bring­ing any drug — includ­ing non-pre­scrip­tion drugs — to school, says Jeff Ash­ley, a Cal­i­for­nia der­ma­tol­o­gist who leads an advo­ca­cy group called Sun Safe­ty for Kids.

Sun­screens are reg­u­lat­ed as over-the-counter drugs, so many dis­tricts treat them like aspirin, just to be safe, he says.

The kids may get melanoma, but at least they’ll be drug-free.

Lind­say Bey­er­stein is an award-win­ning inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Not­ed. Her sto­ries have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Mag­a­zine, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. Her pho­tographs have been pub­lished in the Wall Street Jour­nal and the New York Times’ City Room. She also blogs at The Hill­man Blog (http://​www​.hill​man​foun​da​tion​.org/​h​i​l​l​m​a​nblog), a pub­li­ca­tion of the Sid­ney Hill­man Foun­da­tion, a non-prof­it that hon­ors jour­nal­ism in the pub­lic interest.
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