Sunscreen may accelerate the spread of skin cancer, suggests a new research. What appears to be the chief protection for skin in summers, may actually lead to a deadly disease in the long run.
The Environmental Working Group conducted an exhaustive research involving this popular protection against the sun. The government watchdog and safety advocacy group examined more than 700 different sunscreens, with the sun protection factor (SPF) of above 15.
High SPF only hoax
Only 8 percent of the examined products were found to be at par with the standards. About 90 percent of the tested sunscreens were found to be deficient in providing the required sun protection and they contained ingredients that were potentially harmful for the skin.
Vitamin A derivatives, which are commonly found in most sunscreens, may boost the development of malignant cells and help the spread of cancer, according to the AOL news.
We might feel all protected by applying a generous dose of some sunscreen with a high SPF but according to the researchers we are not as shielded from the dangerous UV rays as we think
While such ingredients may help fight skin ageing and sunburns, they do not provide any barrier against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
The report contradicts the widely known protective properties of the sunscreen. High SPF numbers are also misleading as they only provide a false sense of security. We might feel all protected by applying a generous dose of some sunscreen with a high SPF but according to the researchers we are not as shielded from the dangerous UV rays as we think.
Did the FDA withhold this information?
The group has also accused the Food and Drug Administration for failing to enlighten the public about the dangerous consequences of sunscreens, despite being aware of them for long.
More than 1,000,000 new cases of skin cancer were reported last year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Some of these may have been prevented, if there was greater awareness among the public.
However, the FDA refuses to have any knowledge about previous studies on the matter. A spokesperson for the agency told AOL News that "we have thoroughly checked and are not aware of any studies."
Safety concerns over sunscreens
The Environmental Working Group has revealed about the safety concerns over sunscreens in past studies. Back in 2008 they found about 80 percent of the products incapable of providing sufficient protection from the sun or containing chemicals that are unsafe.
However, it will be too early to discard all your sunscreens. Researchers have suggested that further research in this direction is required to figure out the hazards of a sunscreen.
The E.W.G. says that “the best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt,” but if you must apply it before stepping out in the sun, here is a list of the best sunscreens provided by the group.