Sunscreen Toxicity

Have you heard the expression, it’s not the sun that causes cancer, but your sunscreen? That’s because many of the sunscreens on the market today, even the so-called healthy sunscreens or nontoxic sunscreens are still toxic and can cause many health issues. Yes, even zinc oxide and nano zinc oxide are toxic!

Sunscreen is toxic and can be extremely detrimental to your health. Here's why:

 The FDA classifies sunscreen as a drug. The following is the FDA list of sixteen acceptable "active ingredients" for products listed as sunscreen. Many of the following ingredients have numerous technical names they are known by; we used the most common. The majority, fourteen of the sixteen "active ingredients" are toxic, harmful and poisonous chemicals. These fourteen chemicals are NOT Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective, (GRASE) by the FDA. (Make sense? We don't get it either.) Yet, to get a SPF rating, you either fill out a drug application, and pay thousands of dollars and deal with the bureaucratic red tape or have harmful, toxic chemicals that are detrimental to our health as the "active ingredient" in your sunscreen. Grab your bottle of sunscreen, let’s take a closer look at the “acceptable” list of chemical ingredients:

Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)
 22Prohibited in EU, Canada, and India and known carcinogenic. 2PABA Has showed to cause thyroid cancer in rats. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Avobenzone (Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane)
3“Studies show that BP-3, after topical application, can penetrate into bloodstream, blood-brain barrier and blood-placental barrier and may induce the reproductive toxicity and abnormal development of the fetus, endocrine system disruption, and neurotoxicity in experimental animal models.” 4Banned in Hawaii. Not considered reef or marine safe. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Cinoxate (2-Ethoxyethyl p-methoxycinnamate)
6Can cause dermatitis, Endocrine disruptor and affect the nervous system. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Dioxybenzone (Benzophenone-8)
8Benzophenone is a mutagen, carcinogen, and endocrine disruptor. 21"Benzophenone is the simplest member of the class of benzophenones, being formaldehyde..." 20Not considered reef or marine safe. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Ensulizole (Phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid)
14“Known to produce free radicals when exposed to sunlight, leading to damage of DNA, this UVB protector may have the potential to cause cancer.” 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Homosalate (Homomenthyl salicylate)
9Endocrine disruptor. Negatively affect hormones in men and women. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Meradimate (Menthyl anthranilate, METHYL N-METHYLANTHRANILATE)
23Biochemical pesticide. Can cause skin irritation. 10Banned in EU. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Octinoxate (Octyl methoxycinnamate)
6, 7, 12“In lab studies, Octinoxate has been found to be an endocrine disruptor. ...can cause an increase in oestrogen production, which can increase instances of breast cancer. Has been found to diminish thyroid hormones. Shown to decrease sperm count in male lab species. "It can also contribute to dark spots on the skin because of its quick degradation when in contact with UV rays. Endocrine disruptors have been proven harmful in the hormone (endocrine).” 3Banned in Key West Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands & Palau. 20Not considered reef or marine safe. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate)
13Goes into bloodstream. 4Banned in Hawaii. 20Not considered reef or marine safe.15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Octocrylene (2-Ethylhexyl 2-cyano-3,3-diphenylacrylate)
11“Some people are concerned about the body's ability to absorb octocrylene, which can present in the blood, urine, and breast milk. It may promote the production of free radicals, which can damage DNA, potentially increasing the risk of melanoma.” 20Not considered reef or marine safe. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3)
Of the numerous information I’ve reviewed about sunscreens Oxybenzone appears to be one of the most toxic. 15The harmful effect of BP-3 can disrupt the function of many tissues and organs of the human body, like: skin, kidney, brain, endocrine and hematological system, reproductive organs and neonatal development during pregnancy. 21"Benzophenone is the simplest member of the class of benzophenones, being formaldehyde..." 4Banned in Key West & Hawaii. 20Not considered reef or marine safe. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Padimate O (Ethylhexyl dimethyl PABA)
14A derivative of the once-popular PABA sunscreen ingredient, research shows this chemical releases free radicals, damages DNA, has estrogenic activity, and causes allergic reactions in some people. 20Not considered reef or marine safe. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Sulisobenzone (Benzophenone-4)
16“Danger! According to the classification provided by companies to ECHA in REACH registrations this substance causes serious eye damage, causes skin irritation and may cause an allergic skin reaction.” 21"Benzophenone is the simplest member of the class of benzophenones, being formaldehyde..." 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)
17“Has been shown to cause lung cancer in animals. Titanium Dioxide may be a CARCINOGEN in humans. There may be no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen, so all contact should be reduced to the lowest possible level.” 18“Mechanistic toxicological studies show that TiO2 nanoparticles predominantly cause adverse effects via induction of oxidative stress resulting in cell damage, genotoxicity, inflammation, immune response etc. …Based on the experimental evidence from animal inhalation studies TiO2 nanoparticles are classified as “possible carcinogenic to humans” by the International agency for Research on Cancer and as occupational carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.” Recognized as GRASE by the FDA. 19, 20Not considered marine safe.

Trolamine Salicylate (Triethanolamine salicylate)
24Use may cause blistering, peeling, heart symptoms, hyperventilation, headaches, confusion, diarrhea, irritation, ringing in ears. 15Not recognized as GRASE by the FDA.

Nano-Zinc Oxide / Zinc Oxide (Zinc white)
25A study determined at Oregon State University Zinc Oxide becomes toxic on your skin after two hours of sun exposure. 26Nano Zinc can penetrate the skin, cells and can cause biological damage. Nano Zinc has also been demonstrated to be a neurotoxin in mice. 27, 28Zinc Oxide and Nano Zinc are photocatalysts, which can cause Free Radicals. 20Not considered marine safe. Recognized as GRASE by the FDA.