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New research from the FDA has shown that 7 chemicals traditionally found in chemical (vs mineral) sunscreen enter the human bloodstream at levels that exceed safety thresholds. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the arm of the FDA which conducted the studies explained that just because an ingredient enters the bloodstream doesn’t mean it’s unsafe but in this case, further testing of sunscreen chemicals is urgently needed.
The Study: As CNN explained, the FDA findings, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA, confirmed the results of a pilot study the agency published last year. That pilot study discovered four popular chemical sunscreen filters often used in commercial products — avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule — were absorbed from the skin into the bloodstream after a single day of use.
The new study reevaluated three of the original four (avobenzone, oxybenzone and octocrylene) and added three additional sunscreen chemicals — homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate.
Sunscreen Making the News: In 2019, several cities and regions banned sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate due to the damage these chemicals can cause coral reefs. As Consumer Reports explained, some of the ingredients in sunscreen may damage delicate coral reef systems as well. Up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen are estimated to wash into coral reefs around the globe each year. And as the National Park Service cautions, rather than being evenly distributed, much of that sunscreen is concentrated at popular diving, swimming, and snorkeling sites—such as national parks.
However, scientists have emphasized that in comparison to the threat climate change poses, sunscreen bans won’t mean much.
Why This Matters: This most recent FDA study underscores the need for a more stringent regulatory process for personal care products. As of right now, we don’t know all the ways in which certain chemical ingredients are harming people and planet. At the same time, an industry-backed bill in the Florida Senate aims to prevent municipalities from enforcing their chemical sunscreen bans. The “ban on bans” is the ensuing backlash from industry groups affected by phaseouts of chemicals and single-use plastic items….and we’re likely just witnessing the beginning of these disputes.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer A new study presented during the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting revealed that ticks carrying the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever are more than twice as likely to feed on humans rather than dogs when temperatures rise. Why This Matters: Ticks are thriving […]
This week we are grateful for our health, and for the frontline healthcare workers who are taking care of so many of our family, friends, and community members and have been for months. We are inspired by the stories of those who are fighting to recover from COVID and the stories of those healthcare workers […]
A new study from the journal Cardiovascular Research revealed that long-term exposure to air pollution could be linked to 15% of COVID-19 deaths globally. As Al Jazeera reported the researchers analyzed health data across the world relating to health and air pollution, COVID-19 and SARS – a respiratory illness similar to the new coronavirus disease. […]
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