Almost Every Doctor Recommends Sunscreen. So Why Don ’t We Know More About Its Safety?

Each year, as Memorial Day approaches, Holly Thaggard braces herself for the headlines. About how sunscreen may be damaging coral reefs. About the possible flammability of spray-on sunscreen. Headlines—as there were this year—about how sunscreen contains chemicals that could harm your health. “This has happened every single year for the last decade of my life,” says Thaggard, founder of Texas-based Supergoop, a sunscreen company that brands itself as reef-safe and free of hundreds of potentially problematic ingredients. This year, the is-sunscreen-dangerous news cycle started in May, when Valisure, an independent laboratory dedicated to quality-testing pharmaceuticals and personal-care products, released a report warning that its scientists found benzene—a carcinogen also found in vehicle emissions and cigarette smoke—in 78 U.S. sun-care products. Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreens, but rather a contaminant likely introduced during the manufacturing process, and experts say it’s not clear whether the amount detected in sunscreens could actually lead to health risks. But in July, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled five of its Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen sprays due to the presence of benzene. The company stressed that the recall came from an abundance of caution, and that “the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” but it still kicked off a fresh flurry...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthscienceclimate Public Health Source Type: news