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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sunscreen chemicals wreak havoc on hormones

Sunscreen chemicals wreak havoc on hormones

Sunscreen chemicals are like a temporary shield or band-aid that doesn't get to the root of the problem. They're not always effective either. There's no scientific proof that these chemicals protect the skin from damage or cancer. In many cases, sunscreen chemicals pose more risks than rewards.

One common sunscreen chemical called oxybenzone disrupts hormones and may be linked to endometriosis in females and low sperm count in males. The Environmental Working Group reviewed a large number of commercial sunscreens and found out that half of them used the hormone disrupting oxybenzone as an active ingredient in their formula.

When oxybenzone penetrates the skin, it acts like estrogen in the body. This may trigger allergic skin reactions and can negatively affect the reproductive systems of both males and females. For females, this disruption can cause tissue that normally lines the inside of their uterus - the endometrium - to grow outside their uterus. This causes severe abdominal pain and may lead to infertility.

Furthermore, oxybenzone has a 1 to 9 percent skin penetration rate in lab studies. It's detected in most Americans' blood and can even make its way into a mother's breast milk.

Other sunscreen chemicals, like octinoxate, (octylmethoxycinnamate) exhibit hormone-like activity and can alter the function of the reproductive system, thyroid and even behavior in animal studies.

Another common ingredient, homosalate, can disrupt estrogen, androgen and progesterone levels. Exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals can change the very nature of a man or a woman at the hormone level.


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