For years, you’ve been urged to slather on sunscreen before venturing outdoors. But new U.S. Food and Drug Administration data reveals chemicals in sunscreens are absorbed into the human body at levels high enough to raise concerns about potentially toxic effects.
Bloodstream levels of four sunscreen chemicals increased dramatically after test subjects applied spray, lotion and cream for four days as directed on the label, according to the report.
The levels far exceed the FDA-set threshold which require topical medications to undergo safety studies, said Dr. Kanade Shinkai, a dermatologist with the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.
“It’s not like they went a little bit over,” she said. “It’s really quite high, orders of magnitude higher than that.”
However, experts are quick to say you shouldn’t stop using sunscreen because of this study. At this point, the known risk of harm from the sun’s rays exceeds the potential risk posed by these chemicals.
“I am concerned that people are going to stop wearing sunscreen,” Shinkai said. “We know ultraviolet light from the sun has very deleterious effects on the skin. It causes photoaging. It causes sunburn. And, as such, it causes melanoma and [other] skin cancer.”
Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed.
“I think it’s confusing,” Green said. “While it’s more than the FDA recommends for their toxicology, we really don’t know what that means in terms of human health. I would not want people to stop using sunscreen based on this one study.”
Source: Medical Xpress,