Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States, affecting more than three million people each year. Using sunscreen is one mainstay of prevention. But the recent news that sunscreen ingredients can soak into your bloodstream has caused concern. Later this year, the Food and Drug Administration will offer some official guidance on the safety of such ingredients.
Sunscreen Chemicals Soak All the Way Into Your Bloodstream
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But how safe are the sunscreens that so many people now use regularly? For many years, the Food and Drug Administration has been investigating the safety of over-the-counter sunscreen products, since people are applying them more frequently, and sunscreen makers are increasingly using stronger ingredients to ensure maximal protection from the sun. Theresa Michele, director of the division of nonprescription drug products in the office of new drugs at the Center for Drug Evaluation Research at the FDA. In a small new pilot study published in JAMA, Michele and other researchers found that some of the active ingredients in sunscreen are absorbed into the body and into the bloodstream. Throughout the study period, the researchers took blood samples from the participants — 30 samples per person overall — to look for four common active ingredients which are used in different combinations in sunscreens: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule. They found all four of the ingredients are absorbed into the blood at levels that the agency says is worth testing further for possible cancer risk. Each of the four ingredients appeared at levels greater than 0.
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This summer, beware of sunscreens that contain these ingredients
The information on this page is current as of April 1 The active ingredient of the product consists of any of the following, within the concentration specified for each ingredient, and the finished product provides a minimum SPF value of not less than 2 as measured by the testing procedures established in subpart D of this part:. This amendment could not be incorporated because at 66 FR , Dec.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Recently, researchers have voiced concerns about the harmful effects of chemical sunscreens on human health and the environment. Specifically, two of the most popular ingredients in chemical sunscreens — oxybenzone and octinoxate — have been shown to cause significant damage to coral reefs. A recent study revealed that about 14, tons of sunscreen end up in reefs worldwide, which can lead to bleaching, damaged DNA and abnormal skeleton growth in coral.