Sunscreen prevents sunburns, but little else is known about their safety

Sunscreens prevent sunburns, but beyond that simple fact surprisingly little is known about the safety and efficacy of these ubiquitous creams and sprays.

FDA’s failure to finalize its 1978 sunscreen safety standards both epitomizes and perpetuates this state of confusion. EWG’s review of the latest research unearthed troubling facts that might tempt you to give up on sunscreens altogether.

That’s not the right answer – despite the unknowns about their efficacy, public health agencies still recommend using sunscreens, just not as your first line of defense against the sun.

Here are the surprising facts:

– No consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.

– Some evidence that sunscreens might increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer for some people.

– The common sunscreen ingredient vitamin A may speed the development of cancer.

– Free radicals and other skin-damaging byproducts of sunscreen.

– Pick your sunscreen: nanomaterials or potential hormone disruptors.

– Europe’s better sunscreens.

– The 34th summer in a row without final U.S. sunscreen safety regulations.

 

keep reading – each fact has an explanation at EWG

 

// Thx to Swiss Miss, Photo via Robert S. Donovan