Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Is Your Sunscreen Toxic?
Oxybenzone is a chemical found in many cosmetic products such as lipsticks, moisturizers, fragrances, and especially sunblocks and other SPF-products. According to the Environmental Working Group, oxybenzones have been linked to hormone disruption, allergies, and cancer. So, using oxybenzone-containing sunscreen to reduce your risk of skin cancer may actually increase your risk of cancer! Oxybenzone is also a penetration-enhancer, which means that it will help all of the other chemicals in the sunscreen penetrate your skin. Eww.
Additionally, this chemical is poisoning our oceans. An estimated 6,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in the waters surrounding coral reefs. Sunscreen containing oxybenzones can cause viral infections in coral reef, resulting in coral bleaching (aka dead reef). When this chemical accumulates in fish, it has shown to actually change male fish into females (yikes!).
This chemical was last tested for safety by the FDA back in the 70's. In the past 30-plus years, a lot more information has been learned about this chemical, much of which shows that this chemical may not be safe for us or the environment . So.... when choosing a sunscreen this summer, look for products that are oxybenzone-free. Your natural health foods store is probably your best place to look, but I know that Trader Joe's also has a oxybenzone-free sunscreen that is affordable.
For some other factors to take into consideration when sunscreen shopping, check out an old post about how to choose a sunscreen. Pin It Now!