Recently there has been a surge of anti-screen rants on the internet. Multiple websites suggest that sunscreens can cause cancer, affect your hormonal balance and even kill coral reefs. Here are some facts:
Broad spectrum sunscreens prevent premature skin aging and cancer caused by the ultraviolet rays (UVR) of the sun. There are literally hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating the protective effects of sunscreens.
There are many studies suggesting that UV sunscreens are very safe but the ultimate test of safety for any product is the widespread use without ill effects in the general population. When drugs and medical products safety studies are evaluated by the FDA, there typically are thousands of study test subjects. Even though the drugs are determined “safe” by the FDA, the ultimate test of the drug occurs when it is released to the public and tens of thousands of patients start using it. Only then can doctors determine the real safety of a drug. The safety of sunscreens is a case in point. Sun screens have been used by millions of individuals over decades without evidence of their use causing any serious problems such as cancer or other diseases.
Recently Hawaii has banned oxybenzone, a very effective sun screen component, because of lab studies demonstrating it is toxic to coral and may cause “coral bleaching." Recent studies of the actual concentrations of this sunscreen in beaches where it is used demonstrate very low concentrations incapable of causing coral damage.