Scrutinizing Sunscreens

Scrutinizing Sunscreens

Environmental Working Group’s fifth annual Sunscreen Guide says U.S. consumers still are being duped about the safety of sunscreen

 Three out of five sunscreens made in the U.S.A. are not acceptable in Europe, where manufacturers follow more stringent standards about chemical additives, according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) fifth annual Sunscreen Guide.

The good news, EWG says, is that CVS, Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Aveeno and Walgreens now offer sunscreens with titanium and zinc, instead of potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals such as oxybenzone or Vitamin A, which might be carcinogenic on sun-exposed skin. These products also are not powders or sprays, so they do not pose hazards associated with inhaling chemicals.

While the Food and Drug Administration is still trying to finalize its 1987 sunscreen safety standards, EWG, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to research in areas that include toxic chemicals and agricultural subsidies, has analyzed sunscreen safety for the past five years.

Because of the FDA’s inaction, EWG says many U.S. sunscreen makers are overstating the protection their products offer. In this year’s Sunscreen Guide, EWG has reviewed 292 brands and 1,700 products. For the full report, click here.

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