Is your sunscreen giving you cancer?

Another example of the world becoming so complex that we’re bound to get hurt by our technology. Even worse, the FDA research that identified a key component of many sunscreens as cancer-promoting occurred a decade ago!

Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.

AOL News also has learned through documents and interviews that the Food and Drug Administration has known of the potential danger for as long as a decade without alerting the public, which the FDA denies.

…only 39 of the 500 products [Environmental Working Group] examined were considered safe and effective to use.

…the most alarming disclosure in this year’s report is the finding that vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.

…EWG researchers found the initial findings of an FDA study of vitamin A’s photocarcinogenic properties, meaning the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.

“In that yearlong study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream,” the report said….

Based on the strength of the findings by FDA’s own scientists, many in the public health community say they can’t believe nor understand why the agency hasn’t already notified the public of the possible danger.

“There was enough evidence 10 years ago for FDA to caution consumers against the use of vitamin A in sunscreens,” Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research, told AOL News.

“FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now 10 years later, they say nothing about it, just silence.”

Another major finding is that most sunscreens provide far less protection than they claim, and many fail to protect against both UVA and UVB.

You can look up your current sunscreen and find a new, high-quality sunscreen.

Posted by James on Thursday, May 27, 2010