Mt. Vernon Register-News

Features

June 19, 2013

Are sunscreen chemicals something to worry about?

(Continued)

The data Friedman refers to come from a 2008 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that examined urine samples from more than 2,500 people selected as a representative sample of the U.S. population. Researchers detected oxybenzone (sometimes called benzophenone-3) — a key ingredient in many chemical sunscreens — in 97 percent of the samples. The findings suggest that almost all Americans have absorbed oxybenzone into their bodies, but it doesn't clarify where the compound came from (oxybenzone is also used in cosmetics) or how it may affect health.

Scientists have seen hints of what oxybenzone — and two other common sunscreen ingredients, octocrylene and octyl methoxycinnamate — can do in other studies, and the results have raised some concern. In a small 2006 study that tested these UV filters on a skin model made from human cells, chemist Kerry Hanson of the University of California at Riverside found that the filters break down in UV light, losing their ability to protect the skin and ultimately generating more free radicals — molecules that can "steal" electrons from cells, damaging them in the process — in the skin than if there were no sunscreen applied at all. Free radical formation is one of the ways that a sunburn damages the skin, and Hanson found that degraded UV filters can amplify the effect.

"Your skin naturally makes free radicals, but it also has natural antioxidants [molecules that protect the body from free radicals] that balance out the free radical load," says Hanson, who has consulted with sunscreen companies interested in improving their products. "But the three UV filters we tested show more free radical generation than would naturally occur."

A Swiss study published in 2001 found that oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate could also behave like estrogens, causing changes in uterine weight in rats that were fed very high doses — much higher than a person would absorb using sunscreen every day. But a 2004 study failed to find detectable hormone changes in people using sunscreen, so its hormone-disrupting potential remains unclear.

Text Only
Features
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

      The company reported this week that sales of its sleek, pricey tablet were down 19 percent from last quarter and 9 percent year-over-year. CEO Tim Cook tried to reassure investors that Apple's new partnership with IBM to sell its devices to IBM's corporate customers will help make iPads ubiquitous in the workplace. "This isn't something that worries us," he said of the iPad sales decline. But the numbers are disappointing no matter how you spin them.

    July 24, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks