The Dangers of Sunscreen

Topics: Ultraviolet, Sunscreen, Sun Pages: 2 (590 words) Published: May 17, 2013
The Real Consequences of Their Use

It is said that sunscreen prevents sunburns and other skin diseases caused by the sun. However, on the flip side it’s also said that sunscreen is one of the main causes of skin diseases like melanoma. Sure, sunscreen prevents the epidermis from burning, but it has other consequences that follow. They not only increase the risk of skin cancers, they also expose the skin to a higher percentage of solar rays that break down collagen and elastin, which result in more sun damage to the skin rather than not using it at all.

Our skin is naturally able to use its own antioxidants to neutralize the solar radiation. It can also increase the production of melanin to naturally protect it. Sunscreen use stops the body’s natural process of creating melanin to protect the skin from sunlight. Sunscreen also prevents the automatic warning to get out of the sun when we sense a burning. Now that we have sunscreen, we’re staying in the sun for much longer than necessary, which means we are leaving the skin open to damage from the radiation.

According to the FDA, all sunscreens must now protect UVA and UVB radiation in order to be affective and have a classified SPF rating. Each chemical that’s put into sunscreen covers a specific portion of the solar spectrum, which means there are several chemicals that need to be combined to cover almost all of it. This can cause some serious problems. Some of these chemicals can actually become inactive when they are exposed to sunlight, which means they can no longer protect against the radiation they were designed to do. This process of them becoming inactive happens a lot faster when they’re combined with other chemicals rather than when they’re by themselves.

One specific chemical used in most sunscreens is benzophenone-3 (BP3). This chemical affects the entire body, including the liver and kidneys, as well as harming the normal reproductive development. This...
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