FDA Finally Rules on Sunscreen Safety

June 21, 2011
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sunscreen label

After thirty-three years of deliberation, the FDA tells consumers it’s OK to put toxic substances on their skin, and advises them to avoid natural sunlight!

The US Food and Drug Administration last week issued a final rule on the labeling of sunscreen products. The regulation says that sunscreen products which pass the FDA’s test for protection against both ultraviolent A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays may be labeled as “Broad Spectrum.” Both UVA and UVB radiation contribute to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging, but sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation. Only products that are labeled both as Broad Spectrum with SPF values of 15 or higher may state that they reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging when used as directed.

However, as usual, the FDA is demonizing the sun and cautioning for limited sun exposure. Their press release states, “Most skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. FDA encourages consumers to protect themselves….Not only should consumers regularly apply and reapply sunscreens with Broad Spectrum and SPF 15 or higher, they should also limit sun exposure.”

But limiting your sun exposure can also limit your body’s vitamin D levels, since vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to natural sunlight. And as we have reported numerous times, vitamin D is essential to maintaining a strong immune system.

It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Moreover, according to vitamin D expert Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, the further you live from the equator, the longer you need to be exposed to the sun (without sunscreen!) in order to generate vitamin D—and people with dark skin pigmentation who live far from the equator may need 20 to 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That’s why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men—it’s a simple but widespread sunlight deficiency.

Dr. Holick does advise caution so as not to get a sunburn, but says, “The population of the world has been brainwashed by the American Academy of Dermatology and the sunscreen industry for thirty years, with the unrelenting message that you should never be exposed to direct sunlight because it is going to cause serious skin cancer and death. People are really quite surprised by the new message that sensible sun exposure, in moderation, is very important for good health. We should appreciate the sun for its benefits, and not abuse it.”

But sunscreens make it easy to get too much sun, because they inhibit an enzyme in your skin that makes nitric acid. Nitric acid inflames the skin turning it red, so you know when to get out of the sun. By inhibiting this action you could actually stay out longer in the sun than you should.

FDA’s press release further stated that the agency is currently reexamining the safety information available for the active ingredients in most sunscreen products—though it “does not have any reason to believe these products are not safe for consumer use.” The agency also said that despite concerns that nanoparticles in sunscreen might be dangerous, “FDA testing has concluded that they do not penetrate the skin and are therefore safe.”

Given the highly absorptive properties of skin, we find FDA’s position to be the height of absurdity. In fact, during the media briefing, when FDA’s director of the Center for Drug Evaluation was asked whether the nanoparticles in spray on sunscreen was safe considering the added risk that they can be inhaled, she was was unable to answer the question. (That exchange is located at minute 37.51 in the webcast.)

The Environmental Working Group has criticized the FDA for still allowing toxic chemicals like retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone in sunscreen despite scientists’ concerns about their toxicity. Moreover, it has been demonstrably proven that the chemicals commonly used in sunscreens are indeed absorbed through the skin. As Dr. Tatiana Cannell of the Vitamin D Council puts it, “Sunscreens facilitate the skin’s absorption of pesticides. So if you want pesticides to be readily absorbed through your skin, circulate in your blood, go to your internal organs, and be excreted in your urine, wear sunscreens. Or you could take a swig of your Coppertone and chase it with a shot of Deepwoods Off.”

14 Responses to “FDA Finally Rules on Sunscreen Safety”

  1. John says:

    Another example of big government being bad for your health. These statements are intended to sell more sunscreen and are not in your best health interests.

       1 likes

  2. susan says:

    can someone tell me what is astaxantin?
    someone mentioned thats all you need to protect against sunburn
    where can one get this product?
    thank you

       0 likes

  3. I agree with the above statements. Doesn’t oxybenzone cause melanoma when the skin, with sunscreen is applied and the sun reacts with it? I don’t know the numbers, but the rate of skin cancer in (in the USA) has dramatically increased in the last 30 years or so. Has anyone compared the the increased incidence of skin cancer, to the increased use of sunscreen? I’m betting it’s close to 1 : 1.

       0 likes

  4. BJ in PA says:

    Just another confirmation that the FDA is just fine with poisoning us. But don’t you dare drink that raw milk!! C’mon America, their eugenics agenda could not be any more blatent, obvious, and in our face!

       0 likes

  5. dawn says:

    since the fda gives out such bad info, maybe we’re better off to downsize it’s power financially?

       1 likes

  6. Joseph C Moore, USN Ret says:

    The idiots in the government are hard at work in deceiving the public about safety in products and drugs. It is ALL about LOBBY money.

       2 likes

  7. L Watson says:

    I’m not surprised. The FDA has been involved with population control since they were an agency with the ruse that they are “protecting” us. Hogwash.

       1 likes

  8. The FDA is, and has always been, clueless. They operate within a framework of health care that addresses only symptoms and not causes. Go to a doctor with melanoma and a tan, and the doctor determines the sun caused it. But what about diet, lifestyle, stress, water, air, rest?

    Sadly, by reducing serum vitamin D, we become more prone to developing cancers. The best sunscreen is a tan acquired slowly through increasing exposure over the season.

       1 likes

  9. Barbara Talbert says:

    To get enough vitamin D it is recommended to get some sun-time or at least 15 minutes a day.
    If the sun were to blame everyone who got a tan would have skin cancer and this just is not the case. The “perception management” firms are at it again trying to make a lie the truth. We definitely need to stop paying them with our tax money and demand that the records be made public for the expenditures of the FDA. If the FDA is so ill-informed as to think that sun-screen chemicals do not penetrate the skin what are they doing in the position of being responsible for the health of a nation? If they think that aerosoled nano particle pose no threat to the lungs they need a lesson on how and why the human lung works.

       2 likes

  10. Stan says:

    So lotions you put on your skin don’t get absorbed? Yeah, right.

       1 likes

  11. Between E.Coli in our bean sprouts, and fear of sun, our world has become enslaved to the “fear-of-the-moment” mentality and led down a path of enslavement to products of dubious worth, if not outright harm in the name of controlling our every decision.

    My mother and brother both had melanoma – and both survived it. My mother basically died at almost 90 years old mostly because kidney failure caused by blood pressure medication – which was rapidly robbing her of her memory.

    As for me, I refuse to live in fear, except the fear of ultimately being forced to eat what the government says I must eat (and robbed of nutrition from raw, organic foods), taking medicine that some government pencil pusher mandates I must take or be robbed of the ability to be treated if I’m run over by a bus, or forced at gunpoint to vaccinate my children, pets and self.

    Life itself is not inherently safe, and governments cannot outlaw bacteria, viruses, or accidents. They can only outlaw freedom to choose what we see as our best chance at health – healthy foods, sunlight, and exercise of our own choosing – because it MIGHT not be safe. A healthy immune system is the only truly safe thing to support in life. WIthout health and health freedom, we are all walking dead.

       2 likes

  12. Suzanne says:

    All you need is astaxanthin. It’s safe for kids too. Sunscreen is totally toxic unless it’s made with organic and whole food ingredients.

       0 likes

  13. It is better, according to the government, to limit sunlight exposure and cover our skin with an absorbable cocktail of toxins. All the health problems secondary to limiting sun exposure such as depression, vit D deficiency, and many others can be “taken care” of by synthetic drugs that generate tertiary symptoms, that need additional drugs to cover these symptoms… and so on and so on. Those of you that remember 1970s may recall that at that time we were worrying about global cooling (YES, COOLING!), resulting deficiency of sunlight and a subsequent calamity of population’s health problems. I many countries people with contagious diseases (ie. TB) are treated in sanitariums located high in the mountains where they are exposed to massive doses of UVA and UVB. That’s how they are being cured.
    Remember — we need sunlight to live healthy lives. Enjoy.

       1 likes

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