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The Truth About Suncreens

There are companies that make sunscreens, and they call them natural, even organic, yet they have synthetic chemicals in them. But that’s not the worst of it. According to our research, sunscreens give users a false sense of security in that while they effectively prevent sunburn, they do little or nothing to prevent skin cancer or the accelerated aging of the skin caused by sunlight. In fact, the opposite is true.

There is a substantial body of evidence that shows that there is an increase in cancer when synthetic sunscreen products are used. We’ve done a lot of research into sunscreens. The bottom line is this: we have found no sunscreen ingredients which we consider to be safe.

So now you’re thinking that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide might be “safe” sunblocks, right? Isn’t that what “natural” personal care products manufacturers have suggested? "Natural sunscreens?" Hm-mm. Firstly, one should look at the derivation of these industrial materials and their significant environmental impact. They may call titanium dioxide and zinc oxide "natural mineral sunscreens" (or natural mineral makeup), but neither material is simply a natural, ground rock. Both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are industrial materials manufactured via an extreme, energy-intensive high heat (melting crude rock ores) and violent petrochemical precipitation process.

The shocking truth is the fact that both chemical sunscreens (avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, padimate-o and the like) and physical sunblocks (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) have been found to generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which then can attack the nuclei of your skin cells and cause mutations. That´s right: they can damage your skin and increase the aging of your skin, and can cause skin cancer! Furthermore, sunscreen chemicals have been found to pass through the skin, into the bloodstream and mimic the effects of estrogen, which can disrupt the delicate balance of the body´s natural hormones and endocrine system with the potential for a cascade of health problems.

The following excerpt is taken from a reference book called “Sunscreen Photobiology—Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Aspects”:  “Illumination of titanium dioxide suspensions with sunlight can degrade organic materials and purify drinking water, while illumination with short wave UV kills human cells. This work shows that the distinction between ‘chemical’ sunscreens and ‘physical’ sunscreens, attractive though it may be to those who market them, is not based on any significant difference. Both varieties have the potential to produce reactive species that can attack biological materials (human skin cells) when they are exposed to normal sunlight. What is established is that particles of titanium dioxide as large as 220 nm can enter human cells in culture, and so it seems entirely plausible that if titanium dioxide does pass through skin it could enter cells under the skin (carrying with it the absorbed UVA and UVB radiation and hydroxyl radicals).

There is great concern about the endocrine-disrupting effects of personal care product chemicals washed into our waterways that affect humans, wildlife and plants. Sunscreen chemicals are known to damage and kill coral reefs. Sunscreen chemicals have been found in the flesh of fish that we eat and even in human breast milk.

Titanium dioxide is now being used as a new treatment for window glass because it attacks and degrades anything that touches it, thereby helping to keep windows clean. You probably don’t want to have titanium dioxide attacking your skin!

Small amounts of sun are healthy. Adults and children should remain indoors (at work and school or play) during the hottest part of the day, and when they venture out they should be sure to cover themselves properly. Schedule gardening, errands, play, etc., for early morning or evening hours. Our recommendation for protection: Loose-fitting clothing, shady trees and big floppy hats. Organic cotton is a good way to go!

Read more: Sunscreens, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide and Color Cosmetics.



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