Summer is upon us – it’s time for swimming pools, beaches, lots of sand, sun, and sunscreen. Of course, you don’t want your kids (or you) to get burned, but experts now advise that you really investigate the type of sunscreen you’re using. In fact, research shows that the chemicals in many sunscreens can cause serious health problems.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been investigating sunscreens for some years. They stay abreast of the latest research on the safety and efficacy of the ingredients and formulations and keep us informed. This year, EWG has compiled a list of little known facts about sunscreen, and they’re not pretty.
For example, here are a few important things you might not be aware of:
- There’s very little evidence that sunscreens prevent skin cancer.
- There is evidence that sunscreens may actually increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer.
- According to the FDA, there is an “absence of data demonstrating additional clinical benefit” of high SPF sunscreens.
- Using sunscreens could result in Vitamin D deficiency – which can cause bone pain and muscle weakness, increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, and cancer. It can also contribute to diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis.
- Vitamin A in sunscreens could speed the development of cancer.
And that’s not all. Read Sunscreens Exposed: Nine Surprising Truths to get the full scoop.
What can you do to protect your children?
Fortunately, there are some sunscreens that are safe and do a good job. The EWG has compiled their 2012 list of 1800 sun protection products – including sunscreen and SPF lip balms, moisturizers and make-up. Obviously you won’t need the make-up info for your kids, but you might as well take advantage of this too!
You can search the EWG Cosmetics Database for the sunscreens you are using or considering, or peruse the entire list (it’s organized by level of toxicity) to find one that’s safe. For a small donation, you can even download and print out a guide you can take to the store when you go shopping.
Summer can be the happiest time of year for you and your kids. Using a non-toxic sunscreen helps take the worry out of sun exposure so you can make this summer the best yet!