I was checking my google alerts today and I found a shocking and eye-opening article on the safety and effectiveness on many of the commonly used sunscreens on the store shelves. According to a study done on 1,600 sunscreen products by the Environmental Working Group, 60% of sunscreens are unsafe or ineffective.

Here is more from the article (Source: Arizona Republic Online):

None of Coppertone’s 43 sunscreen products meet the group’s criteria for safety and effectiveness, and the group recommended only two of 152 products from Banana Boat and Neutrogena.

Coppertone spokeswoman Julie Lux said the company was committed to providing the highest quality of sun-care protection.

“We are concerned that reports like this will inappropriately discourage consumers from using sunscreen to protect themselves,” Lux said. “Sunscreen is only one part of a sun-protection program.”

Banana Boat and Neutrogena did not respond to multiple phone calls.

Most popular sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a potentially hazardous chemical that can penetrate skin and disrupt hormonal development, EWG senior analyst Sean Gray said.

Kevin and Karen Paschke, also of Tempe, said stricter government regulations may be necessary.

“We do need uniform standards for manufacturing,” Kevin said. “Right now, it’s like the Wild West. We need to know the long-term effects of some of these products.”

The study did find signs of improvement in many brands.

A similar investigation last summer found that only 29 percent of sunscreen products contained a strong UVA radiation filter, but the number jumped to 70 percent this year.

Still, one in nine products “confers dangerously low levels of UVA protection,” according to the study.

“Consumers should be cautious,” Gray said. “They need to look at labels and make careful decisions for their family.”

While a product’s rating corresponds to UVB protection, there is currently no standard to evaluate sunscreen’s effectiveness in blocking UVA radiation.

Many scientists believe UVA radiation damages skin and can lead to skin cancer and premature aging, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Wow! I grew up with Coppertone and Banana Boat, so now to know that they are unsafe and mostly ineffective is kind of a shocker. I have been careful about the sunscreens that I choose for my daughter’s because there is more of an option out there. Companies are coming up with all-natural and chemical-free sunscreens. Just like the article stated, sunscreen is just one part of sun protection.

Wearing a uv protective swim shirt that covers most of the body is a great idea if you are going to be outdoors for even a couple of hours. That will cut down on the amount of sunscreen and possible chemicals that would be absorbed by your skin. UV Skinz swim shirts protect against 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays–all day! They are chemical-free and dry quickly so that you can be comfortable in any outdoor activity.

If you haven’t gotten a swim shirt for yourself then this is your last week to get a UV Skinz swim shirt at 40% off!