Is your sunscreen harming the environment

Summer is here! Finally. The sun is out, the weather is warming up and more of us are starting to flock outside. But before you stock up on sunscreen, you should know if it is doing more harm to the environment than it is protecting you.

According to this article from Slate:yhst-24115500325359_2056_9574560

To figure out how a particular sunscreen might affect the environment, you have to look at its active ingredients. This is more complicated than you might think: Most UV-protection creams sold in the United States will contain some combination of 17 FDA-approved active ingredients. Two of these are minerals—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—and the rest are carbon-based chemicals, like octinoxate, oxybenzone, and octisalate, each of which might go by a number of different names.

Both classes of ingredients bring their own health worries. Concerns over the minerals focus on the increasing presence of new, nano-formulations of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Though studies suggest that these tiny particles are actually better at blocking UV rays than their larger counterparts, and a number of studies have shown that they don’t penetrate healthy skin, many skeptics worry that there just hasn’t been enough research done to substantiate safety claims. Certain chemical ingredients, on the other hand, may penetrate the skin and act as endocrine disrupters, affecting users’ hormones and reproductive functions. 

I found a few organic sunscreens, such as Green Screen, Saffron Rouge and Alba Organic Sunscreen. You probably aren’t going to be able to walk into an ordinary store to get them, so do your research to see if there is a store near you, otherwise you might have to order it.

Posted by: Lauren

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3 Responses

  1. […] in the body. Others build up as toxins in the body that can cause cancer, and some harm the environment. In fact, a recent study of 886 brands of sunscreen has shown 4 out of 5 to be unsafe and/or […]

  2. Nice mark out of things – Interesting – one could think this way also . Thanks for the post

  3. Great article – I think its important that people know that this stuff can be harmful. Its so easy just to use it without really thinking, and certainly the suncare industry is doing nothing to promote it. Personally I only use organic sunscreen – in the UK we have Caribbean Blue (http://www.prosuncare.co.uk/shop?page=shop.browse&category_id=83) which I find works great for me, and I can use it without feeling too guilty. Hopefully, sooner or later, more people will be aware of their impact on the environment and start looking at the labels.

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