Jul 26 2013
10 Shocking Things About Sunscreen
By Ann Louise Gittleman
After reading study after study reporting the alarming increase in skin cancer cases over the last several years, I’ve started to wonder what sunscreen might have to do with it. I recently came across the research of Dr. Elizabeth Plourde, the author of Sunscreens Biohazard – Treat as Hazardous Waste. Dr. Plourde is a hormone specialist with 25 years of extensive medical research and writing to her credit who has recently focused her attention on the hormonally disruptive chemicals utilized in sunscreens. I had the opportunity to speak with her a few days ago and here are the most disturbing conclusions of her research:
2. The rapid increase in melanoma cases demonstrates sunscreen is NOT the answer. Sunscreens contribute to its cause because they leave the skin open to deeper penetrating radiation! The FDA only requires UV filtering, but UV rays only make up 4 percent of the solar radiation spectrum. Sunscreen use exposes the skin longer to near infrared rays that account up 47 percent of solar radiation and penetrate deeper than UV rays.
3. Sunscreen chemicals pass through the placenta causing fetal development disruption. Fish show gender disruption due to sunscreen chemicals’ strong hormonal influences, indicating the same gender disruption can occur in human fetuses. Common in the news today are children with gender identity confusion.
4. Sunscreen could play an indirect role in the development of autism. Recent statistics show that autism is continuing to rise and to increase more rapidly in boys, which highlights the importance of addressing the many connections that connect the development of autism with the use of sunscreens:
- The ratio of autistic boys compared to girls has risen from 4:1 to 4.6:1, or approximately 5 boys to every girl. Sunscreens are more potent anti-testosterones than Flutamide, the anti-testosterone drug given to prostate cancer patients to block the action of their testosterone. This would impact male development more than female development.
- Autistic children demonstrate thyroid disruption. Sunscreens demonstrate the ability to disrupt normal thyroid development in the fetus. Abnormal thyroid affects speech and cognitive skills, both are aspects of the spectrum of autistic disorders.
- Autism rates vary by race. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 2008 reconfirms Caucasians have a higher incidence rate than either African Americans or Hispanics. More Caucasians use sunscreen than the other two groups, as evidenced by the higher percentage of sunscreen chemicals found in their blood.
- The rise in autism incidence parallels the rise in sunscreen use. In the 1970s and 1980s when sunscreens were introduced, the incidence of children diagnosed with autism was approximately 1 in 2,000. The MMWR 2008 reports that it is now 11 per 1,000.
- Vitamin D is identified as crucial to proper brain development before the age of 2. Sunscreen blocks vitamin D production and proper brain development cannot take place. The deficiencies in the brain development — as a result of low vitamin D — are being identified in autistic children.
- Aluminum is suspected as a cause of autism. Sunscreens contain aluminum — whether it is listed on the label or not — as it is used in processing the ingredients.
5. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming pandemic. Sunscreen use prevents the ability of the skin to manufacture our vitally important vitamin D. Diseases that occur from low vitamin D are increasing at rapid rates, including cancers. The cost for cancers resulting from vitamin D deficiencies in 2004 alone are estimated to be between $40 and 56 billion.
6. Coral die within 96 hours of exposure to low levels of sunscreen chemicals. The stress created by these toxins makes coral less resistant to slight temperature fluctuations.
7. Phytoplankton, the crucial bottom of the food chain, die because they absorb sunscreens’ zinc oxide until they explode.
8. Sunscreen chemicals are now ubiquitous in our lakes and rivers around the world.
9. Upon exposure to sunscreen chemicals, fish become “inter-sexed” as they develop both male and female reproductive organs. Some even stop spawning all together.
10. Sunscreen chemicals are even in muscles of the fish we eat.
All of this may seem a little overwhelming because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom and everything we have been taught by dermatologists and skincare experts over the last decade. I’m sure you may be as disturbed as I am, but I have some practical suggestions that will help you to transition into a skin-protective program from the outside in and the inside out.
I have been using a pendulum for 15 years to dowse for the safety / compatibility of foods and body products (among other things) and over this time I have only found one brand of sunscreen that is 'almost OK' to apply ~ the rest come up as 'avoid at all costs'. I find hats and sleeves work well for shading the skin!
kristy.grannis - 1 BeeBucks
I've heard this before and have been doing alternative "sunscreens" for me and my family. The best one? Eating a ton of red and orange fruits and vegetables! It works great! But don't take my word for it... http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/natural-sunscreen-alternatives/
ab72272 - 1 BeeBucks
Hopefully, the "practical suggestions" will be posted soon. I've done my best for the past few years to stick to more "natural" sunscreen with a good rating from the EWG but it seems like that isn't enough...
beautydecoded - 30 BeeBucks
I am glad to see this article. What I have been wondering about for a long time is the effect of these chemicals in adults diagnosed with depression and mental illness, surely these chemicals are contributing factors. I can recommend Colore Science powder mineral sunblock. I wouldn't use it on babies because of the Vitamin D factor but feel comfortable using it on myself.
gdiazny - 4 BeeBucks
Hi gr8 article. I don't see a link for your "practical suggestions that will help you to transition into a skin-protective program from the outside in and the inside out."
jacquelyn bruce - 1 BeeBucks
I am, of course, shocked to see that "pharma" has struck again. I do have and have used products that contain sunscreen because I didn't know any better. :I am now rather proud to confess that I rarely remember to apply these nostrums before I become thoroughly involved in my large and boisterous garden. I had berated myself for this frequent oversight because I am no spring chicken and old leathery skin is never a fashion first. So...we have suggestions?
Maryam Henein - 43794 BeeBucks
@RockinRissa. thanks for sharing RockinRissa. We're still working on our interactivity on the site. So we will have tagging soon. I wonder what makes one allergic to the sun. I have markers for Lups and apparently Lupus sufferes develop sun sensitivity. But i don't. And i dont really wear sun screen except to cover my tattoos. But i do have brown skin.
RockinRissa - 26 BeeBucks
What a great article! I am allergic to the sun (not deathly, but I have become quite ill after even just five-ten minutes of sun exposure). I tried using the sunscreens but they do not work (I am sure I have tried every single on out there! I have had this since I was 15 and I am now 28 and just a couple weeks from 29). The fact that it doesn't stop me from having allergic reactions should be evidence that it doesn't protect one from the sun. I just embrace my allergy now and I don't use any chemicals to try and keep it under control :-)
amymartins - 12 BeeBucks
Hello - Thanks for this article. What are your "practical suggestions that will help you to transition into a skin-protective program from the outside in and the inside out."