Special report: sunscreen

The Environmental Working Group (see Chispa xx) began studying sunscreens expecting to recommend against using products with nano particles of zinc and titanium in them. They are generally against such micro particles in personal care products, but after reading nearly 400 peer-reviewed studies, they cam to a different conclusion.


Basically, looking further into the available information led them to conclude that products without zinc and titanium were not only allowing up to 20% more UV through, they also contained higher numbers of ‘high hazard products’ which pose a risk to health. Furthermore the data indicates that the nono-particles of zinc and titanium do not absorb into the skin, whereas common alternatives such as octinoxate and oxybenzone have a high absorption rate, complicating the matter further. The study reports: “If this were nano-containing eye shadow, blush, or body glitter our position would be different — if it’s not protecting your health, don’t use it. But sunscreen is meant to protect us from exposure to a known human carcinogen, UV radiation, responsible for some of the more than one million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in this country every year.” On balance, EWG researchers found that zinc and titanium-based formulations are among the safest, most effective sunscreens on the market based on available evidence.



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