The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has taken the veil off some leading sunscreen brands in the American market to show how effective they really are. The investigation conducted by EWG is surely going to axe the companies’ sales and the brands value amongst consumers. The worst is that even FDA has come under the scanner!
According to the report, the brands that promise protection from sun not only fail to keep up to what is expected of them but also contain ingredients that might not be recommended for your skin. The first one to be attacked by the EWG is the company Coppertone that has much as 41 sunscreen products in the market. The investigation says that none of its sunscreens meet both the safety and the effectiveness standards.
The next in line are the Banana Boat and the Neutrogena, the second and the third largest manufacturers of sunscreen products. EWG has come across only 1 effective one out of the 103 of their products.
As per the EWG reports, only 15 percent of the 952 products available in the market block both UVA and UVB radiations. 7 percent of the products have high PSF and block UVB rays that cause skin burns but are ineffective to provide protection from UVA rays.
Also 48 percent of the sunscreens contain unstable ingredients that break down in the sunlight within a few minutes or hours thus breaking the protection shield, making way for the UV rays to penetrate in the skin.
Then again there are most of the products that are not recommended by FDA yet boast of complete protection from the sun.
Now something about the ingredients in the sunscreens that actually protect – Micronized and nano-scale zinc oxide and titanium dioxide give protection from UVA rays, however those present in the spray and powder can accumulate the environment and get absorbed in the lungs more easily than in the skin which can be harmful.
Moreover, some products have the chemicals that get absorbed into the blood and may be toxic enough to raise health concerns and there are some chemicals that react with the sunlight to release radicals that damage skin, even give allergies or perhaps upset the hormone system.
The reason behind all this is cited as the FDA’s failure to set safety standards that manufacturers can follow. It has been 30 years since FDA started drafting the rules and still has not completed it.