Probably never thought of that right? But it's one that will make you scratch your head! Cancer rates are sky rocketing if you didn't notice, including skin cancer rates, and by 2030 cancer rates are predicted to quadruple! that's right, quadruple. Right now a staggering 1 of every 4 people dies from cancer and it is the second leading cause of death in America. But everywhere you look this summer you are going to see people lathering up or now more popular spraying on sunscreen. So I should really say, everywhere you breathe this summer you will be notice sunscreen! Now I'm not one for getting burnt, but there are some important things you should know.
First most sunscreens are extremely toxic! Aerosol spray sunscreen is toxic to breathe! A whopping 84 percent of sunscreens have toxic chemicals in them. Make sure you pick your sunscreen carefully, and choose natrual or organic, and non toxic screens. One of the worst (and most common) chemicals found in samples is oxybenzone, an endocrine disruptor that can affect the nervous system and creates harmful free-radicals when exposed to the sun--meaning every time you use it! Many popular brands of sunscreen contain this ingredient, including Banana Boat and Coppertone.
Second, the use of sunscreen may cause cancer itself! While vitamin A's antioxidant properties make for fabulous anti-aging night cream, going out into the sunlight with this stuff on your face is a bad, bad idea. When retinyl palmitate—a form of vitamin A that's found in many sunscreen products—is exposed to sunlight, it can promote growth of cancerous tumors and form free-radicals that damage DNA, according to a 2009 study by the FDA. Avoid any sunscreen containing either retinyl palmitate or retinol. You may love your wrinkle-fighting skin products, but slowing the aging process shouldn't be on your child's list of concerns.
Third, you may not be getting the amount of Vitamin D that you need and according to Dr Daniel Bikle of the San Francisco VA Medical Center and University of California at San Francisco recently reviewed the biochemical and physiological evidence that vitamin D may prevent skin cancer. Vitamin D is crucial to help kids grow and maintain healthy bones and a strong immune system, and it comes straight from sunlight exposure. The American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control both report that Vitamin D deficiency is a prevalent issue, with up to 25 percent of Americans being at risk. Breastfed babies, dark-skinned children and overweight children are particularly susceptible, and the highest risk factor is limited exposure to the sun. In fact, the health benefits from the Vitamin D absorbed in any short-term sun exposure (about 15 to 20 minutes) may actually outweigh any risks from those harmful UVA and UVB rays.
So what's your best options? Your best bets for toxin-free sunscreen products are cream-based brands without oxybenzone or vitamin A. Look for options that use zinc or titanium, such as Badger, California Baby, Aubrey Organics and Kiss My Face. While many Coppertone products are unsafe, it does have four products that make the EWG's list of safe sunscreens: Sensitive Skin Faces Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, Kids Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 and Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50.
For information on Cancer and how to avoid it listen to the free podcast of my radio show here... Cancer
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