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Toxins found in sunscreens
Updated: Friday, 18 Jun 2010, 11:40 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 18 Jun 2010, 11:40 PM EDT
* Sonni Abatta
By Sonni Abatta
FOX 35 News
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Living in Florida, there's really no question about it -- sunscreen is essential.
Whether you're lounging at the beach or just going about your daily routine, the suns rays can burn and age you, or maybe lead to skin cancer.
But new research shows ingredients in many popular sunscreens can damage your bodily systems.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its fourth annual Sunscreen Study, reviewing the efficacy and safety of over 500 sunscreens currently on the market, and they say they can only recommend 39 of those.
They base their reviews on the sunscreens effectiveness and the safety of chemicals used in them.
The chemicals that caused most of a stir are oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, or Vitamin A.
Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research at EWG who oversaw this years study, says oxybenzone is present in around sixty percent of sunscreens on the market.
Houlihan says, It works-it blocks radiation-but it penetrates the skin in fairly large amounts, and its a potential hormone disruptor.
Its not known the full extent that it might affect people when it gets in our bodies; it is known it penetrates the skin very readily. Its found in almost all Americans, so we know people are exposed. But studies havent been done to know exactly what that means.
Orlando dermatologist Dr. Dmitry Palceski says, Because there is an alteration of the estrogen level, it is something people should watch, especially if you are pregnant or apply lots of sunscreen.
Orlando dermatologist Dr. J. Matthew Knight says, Theres a lot of warning language about some sunscreen ingredients. I dont think the jurys out on that yet.
I wouldnt get too hung up on specific ingredients now.
The FDA says they have conducted no research on oxybenzone.
Another ingredient the EWGs research shed unfavorable light on-at least in sunscreens-is Vitamin A. Its listed on many sunscreen labels as retinyl palmitate.
The EWGs Houlihan says, New data from the FDA suggests this ingredient, when you put it on the skin, accelerates the growth of skin tumors and lesions.
When contacted about the potential toxicity of both of the above chemicals, the FDA says the study showing the photo-toxicity of Vitamin A did not include a treatment of retinyl palmitate together with a sunscreen. … It is premature to draw conclusion from the study at this time.
Dr. Dimitry Palceski, Reflections Dermatology Sunscreen recommendations:
1 - EltaMD UV Sport SPF 50
2 - EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
3 - LaRoche Posay Anthelios SPF 40
4 - California Baby sunscreens
5 - Blue Lizard sunscreens
Dr. J. Matthew Knight, Knight Dermatology Institute Sunscreen recommendations:
1 - Blue Lizard sensitive skin sunscreen
2 - Neutrogena sunscreens
3 - Obagi sunscreens
4 - Mineral makeup (for women) with sunblock