Ronit Mor, ND
About The Efficacy And Safety Of Sunscreens
Are you aware that the FDA itself says it is “not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use helps prevent skin cancer”? According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 11th Annual Sunscreen Guide, there are currently more than 880 beach and sport sunscreens, 480 moisturizers and 120 lip products with SPF but the surprising truth is this: beyond the knowledge that sunscreens prevent sunburns, little else is known about the safety and efficacy of sunscreen lotions and sprays.
Furthermore, the FDA allows most sunscreens to claim that they play a role in preventing skin cancer even though there is little scientific evidence to suggest that sunscreen alone reduces cancer risk, particularly for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. The fact remains that despite the public significantly reduced exposure to sunlight and a multi-billion dollar sunscreen industry, melanoma rates have tripled over the past three decades.
Surprising Facts About Sunscreens
There are many disturbing facts that might tempt us to abandon sunscreen altogether. Here are some of the more surprising facts about sunscreens, adapted from the EWG report:
Sunscreen Ingredients Better Left Untouched
The Danish EPA recently reviewed the safety of active ingredients in sunscreen and concluded that most ingredients lacked information to ensure their safety. Sixteen of the nineteen ingredients studied had no information about their potential adverse effects in humans. And while the published studies suggest that several chemical filters interact with human sex or thyroid hormones, none of the ingredients had sufficient information to determine the potential risks to humans from hormone disruption. The Danish EPA reported adverse effects observed in laboratory animals exposed to UV filters include reproductive/developmental toxicity and disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT). Following are ingredients you might want to avoid:
For Part 5 of this blog series, click here.