Sunscreen Nanoparticles May Cause Skin Cancer
As reported by David Gutierrez, staff writer NaturalNews.com (10/10) ...Sunscreens made with nanoparticles may cause serious bodily harm, a
report from Friends of the Earth has warned. "Consumers need to know that
manufactured nanoscale zinc and titanium oxides are not the only choice and are
not necessarily the most effective or safest choice for sun protection," the
Many sunscreens now contain nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide or zinc
oxide, roughly 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The only
reason for using nanotechnology is to make the sunscreens less oily and easier
to rub into the skin. Although titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have long been
used in sunscreens and are considered relatively safe, the normal rules no
longer apply to matter on the nano scale.
In its report, Friends of the Earth cites six recent studies indicating that
zinc oxide nanoparticles can penetrate healthy human skin to reach the blood
and urine, kill brain stem cells in mice, and destroy colon cells in even
minute concentrations. They also cite studies finding that nanoscale titanium
dioxide can produce gene changes in pregnant mice and has been linked to
Alzheimer's, autism and epilepsy. All nanoparticles are also capable of
crossing the placental barrier between mother and fetus.
Although a number of European governments have begun passing regulations
mandating labeling, testing and even bans on some nanoparticles, particularly
in cosmetics, the industry remains completely unregulated in the United States.
"Nanosunscreens have the potential to cause serious human and environmental
harm, but there is nothing stopping companies from selling them," the report
To make matters worse, a recent report by the Consumers Union found that even
among sunscreens claiming to be nano-free, 80 percent still contained
nanoparticles. "These nanomaterials are being added without appropriate
labeling or reliable safety information, so the public has no way of making
informed purchasing choices," said Ian Illuminato, senior health researcher for
Friends of the Earth. Unfortunately for consumers seeking to protect their
health, the majority of sunscreens not made with titanium or zinc oxides are
also made with known carcinogens.