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Toxic chemicals or life savers?

Amanda Fehd

SPF 70 sunscreen doesn’t smell like coconuts and the beach like good ol’ SPF 15. It smells like chemicals. One brand of SPF 70 stings when you put it on and contains five chemicals: homosalate, oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone and octocrylene.

Scientists know these chemicals are absorbed into skin when applied as sunscreen because they have been found excreted in urine.

At 8,500 feet in elevation, skin cancer rates increase 115 percent, according to a study published by the American Academy of Dermatologists. The AAD recommends everyone wear sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 if they will be out in the sun more than 20 minutes to prevent skin cancer.

But for the devil’s advocates out there, there are a few naysayers of sunscreens and the chemicals used in them.

The Dermatology Times reported in December 1999 on a new method which implies the chemicals are toxic:

“A novel proprietary process invented at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem involves enclosing sunscreen chemicals in microscopic glass beads that form a barrier between the skin and the potentially toxic chemicals and between the chemicals themselves,” the article states.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health had this to say about one physical sunscreen:

“The incidence of tumors in animals exposed to titanium dioxide meets the … criteria for … (a) potential occupational carcinogen.”

And the Sunday Times of London has reported: “Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), which is present in 90 percent of sunscreen brands, was found to kill mouse cells even at low doses in a study by Norwegian scientists.”

However, the majority consensus is to use it. Sunscreen clearly prevents sunburns, which cause skin cancer.

One Web site, http://www.skinbiology.com, which markets skin care products, claims chemical sunscreens are causing skin cancer by producing free radicals and may interfere with sexual development.

The majority consensus is to use it. Sunscreen clearly prevents sunburns, which cause skin cancer.

Men especially ignore the precaution and they pay for it. Nicholas Perricone, author of the No. 1 New York Times Bestseller, “The Wrinkle Cure,” said most of his patients are women, but despite that, most of the surgery he’s done to remove basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, were from men.sdsadf


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