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Toxic Sun Care Products

Which is more toxic--UV rays from the sun or sunscreen? It's ironic that you may get cancer from your sunblock.

As the weather warms, people increase the amount of time spent outside in the sun.

Of course this means buying a good sun screen to protect yourself from UV rays. The sun produces two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays--UVA and UVB. These rays cause cancer, sunburn, and premature aging. Additionally, UV rays sensitize the skin so it reacts to medications, soaps, and cosmetics.

In order to protect yourself from the sun, most people have been educated to wear protective clothing, limit the amount of time in the sun, and cover our skin with sunscreen or sunblock. While many people believe they are taking appropriate measures to protect themselves, most are unaware that the ingredients in popular sun care products are toxic--even carcinogenic.

Ironically, many of the most popular sun care products list suspected carcinogens as well as endocrine disrupters--synthetic chemicals suspected in declining sperm counts and cancer of the testicles, prostate, and breast. Look at the listed ingredients of the most popular sun care products and you will find at least one of the following:

Suspected Carcinogens

diethanolamine and related ingredients (DEA, TEA),


titanium dioxideSuspected Endocrine Disrupters

benzophenone (oxybenzone),


octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate)

parabens (methyl, ethyl, butyl, & propyl).

While these chemicals are bad for people, they are equally harmful to the environment. When we swim, the chemicals enter the water. Diethanolamine has been found in waterways, and benzophenone has been found in the water, air and soil.

Sunscreens can also contain other chemicals associated with skin irritation such as avobenzone, benzophenone, octyl-methoxycinnamate, and PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid).

There are good alternatives available, but consumers must educate themselves to make better choices.

One solution is zinc oxide. It does not irritate the skin and is not linked to any environmental problems.

Keep in mind, the Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate any personal care products.

2007, Clara Myers. Visit Mind-Mart for organic and toxin free sun care products as well as information for mind-body wellness.

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