For years we have been told wearing sunscreen protects us from skin cancer. While this is still true, recent data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration highlights dangers to health from chemicals in certain sunblock products. Out of caution, you should avoid some sunscreens when you go to the beach this summer.
A report published earlier this year from the FDA raised concerns about chemicals in sunscreens that are being absorbed at high levels into the bloodstream. Experts warn these chemicals may affect the body’s hormone, reproductive, and thyroid systems.
There is also a concern about sunscreens blocking vitamin D to the skin and destruction of coral reefs.
These warnings shouldn’t stop you using sunscreen. The risk of skin cancer by not using sunscreens is far more serious. However, shop around for sunscreens that contain less harmful ingredients.
Which Sunscreens Should You Avoid at Virginia Beach?
If you are heading to Virginia Beach or another resort, you are likely to buy sunscreen. Most people pick up the first product they find at the store without looking at the ingredients.
However, the FDA report makes it clear not all sunscreens are created equal.
The agency points out there are two types of sunscreen on the market.
- Chemical products that absorb into the skin create a reaction with UV rays, turning them to heat.
- Physical or mineral sunscreen, a product that remains on the skin and deflects the sun.
What Sunscreens Should be Avoided?
Research into sunscreen chemicals and their impact on human health is in its infancy. However, it’s worrying to learn about the high levels of potentially harmful chemicals in products we have used liberally for decades.
If possible, skip chemical sunscreens and use the mineral-based products instead.
You should also avoid products with SPFs above 50+. Your sunscreen’s SPF only applies to its ability to filter out UVB rays that burn you. They don’t necessarily block rays that cause skin cancer. People who wear these products may be absorbing extra levels of chemicals while wrongly believing they are afforded additional protection.
High SPF products use higher concentrations of chemicals that filter the sun’s rays like oxybenzone. Some of these chemicals are linked to health side-effects like tissue damage and potential hormone disruption.
The American Academy of Dermatology urges people to continue to use sunscreen. However, it advises them to look out for certain ingredients that the FDA has not marked as being generally safe and effective.
You should avoid sunscreens that contain:
- Tolamine salicylate
However, these are not ingredients you are likely to find in products on the US market.
The FDA is calling for more safety data on the following 12 ingredients before determining whether these ingredients can be classified as safe. In the meantime, avoid sunscreens with the following ingredients if you can:
- Ensulizole, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, octinoxate, oxybenzone, avobenzone.
These chemicals are likely to be found in U.S. sunscreens. You should also avoid the following ingredients which are more likely to be found in overseas products.
- Cinoxate, meradimate, dioxybenzone, padimate O, sulisobenzone.
Talk to a Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyer About a Dangerous Product
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, our attorneys help people who suffer illnesses and injuries from dangerous products. Although research into dangerous chemicals in sunscreens is ongoing we are disturbed by some of the findings to date. Please contact our product liability team if you or a family member has been hurt by a dangerous or defective product.