Do you think that sunscreen really protects you from skin cancer?

July 29, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

If you think that sunscreens really protect you from cancer, think again. Read this detailed information from the Environmental Working Group and you’ll be astounded. How can so much false and unsupported information can be freely plastered on bottles of sunscreen?  Why isn’t the federal government clamping down on sunscreens? Who do our img_3219representatives represent? Apparently, their greatest loyalty is to companies that make money by misrepresenting their products.   Can you believe that sunscreens are not regulated to make sure that they do what they claim to do?

img_3264The best approaches to protecting your family: Wear clothes and stay in the shade. Any product that claims protection greater than SPF 50 is misleading. Note that most people put on only a 1/4 to 2/3rds enough sunscreen to actually reach the product’s SPF rating. Check out the oftentimes toxic ingredients at EWG.

Take a tour of EWG’s Hall of Shame.

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Category: American Culture, Consumer Protection, Health, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    I read an article recently (sorry, no link) that said SPF numbers are not linearly related to the amount of hazardous UV radiation they filter out, and so can be very misleading when high SPF numbers are compared. In other words, an SPF of 15 might filter out, say, 92% of harmful UV rays, while an SPF of 30 might filter out 94% and an SPF of 60 might filter out 97%. Thus, the health benefits from using higher SPF-rated products are often relatively negligible compared to the numerical increase in SPF rating. The same article reported that the biggest mistakes most people make are that they apply too little of the sunscreen product and they apply it too infrequently. Accordingly, most dermatologists recommend that people use a sunscreen SPF of 30 (which is perfectly adequate and is usually cheaper than the higher-rated products) and simply apply the product more heavily and more frequently than they otherwise might.

    Also, as regards special "SPF-rated" clothing: most modern synthetic fabrics (e.g., polyesters, nylons, lycras, and other types of fabrics used in most sports-related clothing) will do an excellent job of filtering out harmful UV radiation, whether or not it is specifically labeled with an SPF rating. Cotton, especially if it becomes wet, does much less well.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Grumpy – based on the information I've been learning through EWG, the sunscreen industry needs some serious regulation. Consumers should not be kept in the dark (as they now are) and they definitely shouldn't be misled by manufacturers.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hello Erich,

    Please ask and I'll tell. We've been making sunscreens for over 16 years, as I was a sun worshipper and still enjoy being outdoors. I didn't like what was on the market, so with the help of our scientific advisory board, we developed a sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen.

    If you look at our site you will see we deeply care about the environment as well and the EWG on the CBS morning show (see video on our site), mentioned KINeSYS by name.

    I can not speak for the Pharmaceutical companies or the "natural/organic" Marketers, but we are happy to share our information and have set our testing results to the EWG, as they decided that Zinc & Ti are safer, and have since changed our #1 score to a #3.

    As an FYI, the EWG does NOT test any products, they only rely on the information from the product labels and from MSDS information on each ingredient, not how they work together.

    If you are interested in trying our products, I'd be happy to send a Travel size for your use.

    Regards,

    Jeff

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Jeff: Thanks for the information. I'm passing on your link to our readers.

      Thanks for your offer of sunscreen, but I'll pass. I'm not in a position to make any recommendation regarding such products because I have no such expertise. Further, my first two lines of defense are to minimize sun exposure by staying in the shade as much as possible, and to wear clothing such as a hat or a long sleeve shirt. But good luck to you in your enterprise.

  4. rosa says:

    people in america, and probably alot of other areas do not get enough natural saturated fats nor do they get enough sunshine, sunblocks block your body's ability to produce vita d, without this vital nutrient you become depressed (sad may be blamed on this aspect of lack of vita d in winter months)glucose intolerant, vita d is a potent protector against cancer.

    the more health problems you have with regard to metabolic syndrome, depression etc the more vita d you need. the heavier you are fat wise the more you need because the more fat cells you have the more your body dumps vita d into them. after all they need it too and it is fat soluable. but you need adequate cholesterol to make vita d and low fat manta in american is making people deficient in this nutrient as the body is depleted of nutrients when forced to use glucose to make cholesterol which is a 30 step process, from what i understand, to make.

    also cholesterol from glucose is more damaged, oxidized if you will, so many cells will not use it but reject it, it triggors fat cells to produce inflammotory substances because the fat cells become damaged as they not only store cholesterol for use later in the body but recycle damaged cholesterol.

    they estimate about 80 percent of americans do not get enough vita d well duh, no one goes into the sun or eats saturated fats (not the artificial(polys converted to oxidized sat fat) ones but natural)people put sunblock on and hence do not produce vita d don't eat enough sat fat and thus not enough healthy cholesterol and bang you have vit d deficency. the only other way to get vita d and absorb it is animal fat that is where they store it.

    you also become calcium defiencent at the cellular level as the body hoards it in the fat cells when your not consuming/absorbing enough.

    just a little tidbit for any who are interested.

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