Study: Sunscreen Chemicals can reach Blood Stream within a day

Sunscreen on Skin

Just in a day’s time, the ingredients of most commonly used Sunscreens entered bloodstream at levels high enough to breach government safety investigation, said a small pilot study conducted by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, a department of US Food and Drug Administration.

The study was published in the journal JAMA and was basically focussed to analyse four chemicals — Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Ecamsule and Octocrylene. The results reveal that three of the ingredients continued to rise in the blood stream as the sunscreen use continued and even after the use stopped, it took around 24 hours for the levels to stabilise.

These four chemicals are also on the FDA’s hit-list and recently a notice was also issued to the manufactures to consider doing more research before labelling them safe and effective to use.

This new study was conducted on a total 24 volunteers, with everyone being randomly assigned to use a sunscreen lotion that contained the above listed chemicals. Then, the volunteers were asked to use the assigned sunscreen on near 75% of their body, that to four times a day and for four days. To analysis chemical absorption in the body, around thirty blood samples were collected for each volunteer over a period of seven days.

The results were shocking, of the six people assigned to use sunscreen lotion containing Ecamsule, five had more than enough of it in their blood stream within a day. For the other three, the results showed significant levels after a day’s use.

“Of all the four, Oxybenzone stood out as it was absorbed by the body at 50 to 100 times higher concentrations”, said David Andrews, senior scientist at EWC. This same chemical is also known to be the most common cause of contact allergies and has been replaced by the European Union by new substances.

Scott Faber, senior vice-president at EWC, a group that publishes a yearly guides on sunscreens, said “The real enemy here is the sun and it’s no news that things applied on the skin are absorbed inside.”

The reason to stop using sunscreen seems to be clear but guess what we don’t have a choice. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, Melanoma and diseases similar are on the rise, in-fact, melanoma ranks the 19th most common reason for skin-cancer that develops from the pigment-containing cells known as melanocytes.

“Studies need to performed to evaluate the finding and determine the true medical implications to absorption of certain materials” said Dr. David Leffell, a spokesman for American Academy of Dermatology.