How safe is sunscreen? Safer than skin cancer
WASHINGTON – Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States, affecting more than 3 million people each year. Using sunscreen is one mainstay of prevention. But the recent news that sunscreen ingredients can soak into your bloodstream has caused concern.
Later this year, the Food and Drug Administration will offer some official guidance on the safety of such ingredients. What should people do in the interim as summer approaches?
The only proven health risk so far is too much sun exposure. Some may think covering up and limiting time in the sun is important only for those with lighter skin, but the recommendations against UV exposure apply to everyone.
Yes, you should probably keep using sunscreen, although some who may want to play it extra safe could switch to sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Sunscreens were first regulated by the FDA in the 1970s, and they were considered over-the-counter medications, before current U.S. guidelines for the evaluation of drugs were put in place. Because of this, sunscreens didn’t undergo testing the way modern pharmaceuticals would.