Safe Sunscreens, Again

July 9, 2009

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Just to direct you to the EWG site again in case you’ve lost it. The Environmental Working Group’s lip balm sunscreen guide has ranked 154 products according to their testing standards- see how your lip balm ranks.

 

At EWG, our team of scientists,engineers,policy experts, lawyers and computerprogrammers pores over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and our own laboratory tests to expose threats to your health and the environment, and to find solutions. Our research brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know.” A worthy group to consider for contributions to help:

 update Skin Deep, our cosmetics safety database
 support the Kid Safe Chemicals Act
 fight for organic produce
 get dangerous chemicals out of your food and water
 protect your favorite national parks from mining destruction


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It is time to say goodbye to some of your old stand by sunscreens if you are avoiding putting toxins consciously into your body.

I so appreciate the research and commitment of EWG (Environmental Working Group). Here is something to think about since it is summer and it’s time to consider protecting ourselves from sun burn. You might want to read this article about the body burden Americans have created from wearing sunscreens with oxybenzone. As I have posted before, there are many ways to protect from too much sun, from SPF clothing and hats, to safer sunscreens. I have been the sunscreen police with my kids for years. Interestingly enough, none of them have listened to me. I guess I’m glad about it.

The EWG report cites 2 studies linking cell damage and  free radical formation from sunlight causing oxybenzone to form free radical chemicals. A CDC study indicated that oxybenzone absorbs through the skin in significant amounts and another study showing that 96% of 6-8 year old girls had detectable amounts of the chemical in their urine.  

Since oxybenzone was last tested in the ’70’s it is a very outdated sun protector. I would consider reading all your sunscreens and getting rid of the offenders.

And from the EWG’s comments on the FDA’s proposed amendment on final Monograph, from back in 2007:

“EWG’s research shows that FDA’s finalization of a strong monograph is critical. We found that some sunscreens on the U.S. market:

  • offer inadequate protection from the sun;
  • may be less safe and effective than products offered in other countries;
  • are labeled with misleading product claims;
  • contain ingredients with significant safety concerns.

Specifically, our research indicates that 83% of 868 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. We found that only 17% of the products on the market are both safe and effective, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards.”

You can check the safety of your cosmetics and sunscreens at EWG’s site.

 

 

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This just in from EWG.org- EnvironmentalWorkingGroup‘s 5th Edition of The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, including government data. In this edition you will again find fruits and veggies with the highest and least pesticides.  You will be able to make informed choices about which conventionally grown veggies are the cleanest and when to stick with organically grown. What a wonderful service this group performs for us! You can download and print the wallet size guide. Or read the full list– top of the list for pesticide load is PEACHES! So, only organic. Bottom of the list is ONIONS- never found a bug on an onion, they must not taste good to bugs so they don’t spray them much?

 

“Every year, new research is published demonstrating the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment, often at doses previously declared “safe” by the pesticide industry and the government.

As acknowledged by the U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked with a variety of toxic effects, including:

  • Nervous system effects
  • Carcinogenic effects
  • Hormone system effects
  • Skin, eye and lung irritation”

The site is a great resource. 

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?

EWG believes that  “people have a right to know what’s in their food, so they can choose foods with less pesticides.The government can and should take steps to dramatically reduce the number and amount of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, in the food supply.”

We can choose to purchase produce low in pesticides and favor organically-raised fruits and vegetables to support our families’ health and in particular protect our children the environment.