Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer?
An American research organization, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), found that 4 out of 5 sunscreen lotions do not provide an adequate level of protection against solar radiation. They also contain hazardous chemicals.
In total, the researchers analyzed 1000 different sunscreens. The industry leaders – Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Neutrogena turned out to be the most dangerous. Although all of these companies are extremely upset by the content of the EWG report, some dermatologists criticize it for some hyperbolization of reality, this report really draws attention to a serious problem.
The fact is that sunscreen lotions do not provide complete protection from the sun and practically do not help prevent the most severe forms of skin cancer. On the contrary, excessive faith in their effectiveness and preference for other means of protection, such as hats and clothing that protects from the sun, can contribute to this dangerous disease.
How does the sun affect the skin?
Sunlight emits ultraviolet light in two main forms: UVA and UVB. Besides the dangers of sunburn, exposure to UVB has been connected to the most common forms of skin cancer. These include basal cell carcinoma, which rarely leads to death and in most cases only spoils the appearance; and epidermoid cancer, which can lead to death in about 1% of cases.
UVA radiation penetrates deeper layers of the skin. It leads to the formation of wrinkles. Recent studies have shown that type A ultraviolet radiation enhances the carcinogenic effect of UVB and can lead to skin cancer.
Most protective creams only block UVB. The accepted SPF (sun protection factor) labeling system refers only to the degree of protection against UVB. The SPF factor indicated on the package measures the level of protection against sunburn – if you get a sunburn in 30 min, then cream with factor SPF 15 should theoretically allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer before you start sunbathing.
15 minutes defense
Complete protection against all types of solar radiation exists, it is available and has been used for centuries. It is clothes. Unfortunately, this means is not very suitable when the summer requires a minimum of clothing.
The EWG report smashes the already fragile promise of sun protection. Almost all sunscreens contain chemicals that may decay in the presence of sunlight. In fact, this is how they prevent UVB from entering the skin.
All of the all-day protection claims that some cosmetic brands promise protection for hours. These are ridiculous because most sunscreen lotions begin to decay within 15 minutes after application. Even if you do not take into account that a person can sweat or accidentally touch skin – then the protection disappears even faster.
In addition, sun lovers rarely follow the recommendation to apply an equal amount of lotion to the skin before each sun exposure. People only think that they are protecting themselves from the sun, but in reality, only a few of them do it.