The Hidden Dangers of Sunscreen

The dangers of sunscreen are explored, along with the chances that they can actually cause cancer.

Woman on beach

Too much sunscreen can be a danger, as its use can mask other factors that cause cancer.

Photo by Fotolia/SerrNovik

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The hidden truth is exposed in 100 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know (Red Wheel/Weiser, 2014). Author Russ Kick, an “information archaeologist” and named by Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” exposes those things that people in power—government, religious leaders, corporations, and the rich—don’t want you to know. The hidden dangers of sunscreen are explored in this excerpt.

Using Sunscreen Can Cause Cancer

It's easy to think that slathering on sunscreen will make you practically invulnerable to skin cancer. Those evil rays will just bounce off you à la Superman. The manufacturers of these products don’t exactly go out of their way to let you know that this isn't the case.

Most sunscreens only block the ultraviolet rays known as UVB, which cause sunburn and, in the long term, some skin cancer. But they do very little, next to nothing, to filter out the longer UVA rays, which also trigger skin cancer (in fact, UVA is probably more likely to do so). In other words, while you are prevented from being fried like a lobster, other rays that cause serious long-term health problems are pounding your skin unabated.

Often, wearing sunscreen only makes things worse, because people tend to stay outside longer when they think they're protected by coconut-scented body armor. Thus, they drink up more of the killer UVA.

And let's not forget that it's absolutely crucial for us to get Vitamin D, which is formed when our bods are exposed UVB, the very wavelength being stopped in its tracks by sunscreen. Among other things, D protects against some cancers, including breast and colon.

To drive another nail into sunscreen's coffin, be aware that when you use it, you're smearing loads of chemicals, some toxic, onto your skin, which drinks them up like soda and pipes them right into your body.

So what's a Sun worshipper to do? Ditch the lotions altogether. Spend small amounts of time in the Sun until your skin acclimates and you're able to stay exposed longer — an hour a day — without turning red. If you have to be outside longer, use clothing and things like beach umbrellas to keep the excess rays off your skin. Dr. Joseph Mercola boils it down: "The key is to never burn."

Read more about what you're not supposed to know: Nuclear Accidents: Bombs Over Tobacco Road.

Reprinted with permission from 100 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know: Secrets, Conspiracies, Cover Ups, and Absurdities edited by Russ Kirk and published by Red Wheel/Weiser Books, 2014.

crollysandy
4/5/2014 4:31:30 AM

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wanderingsky
4/3/2014 4:48:24 PM

This is why you buy NONTOXIC sunscreen because it is NOT safer to go into the sun without sunscreen than with. Environmental working group did a study a few years ago on body products called Skin Deep and found some sunscreens were toxic while others weren't. Look it up. The problem with articles like this is some people will think it is safer to go into the sun for prolonged periods of time without sunscreen than with. That's a terrible idea.


andrean6
4/2/2014 10:45:25 PM

Wow, this article really sucks. First of all, the majority of sunscreens now are broad spectrum, meaning they block UVA and UVB both. Second, the sun isn't the only way for the body to get vitamin D. Third, the whole article is slamming sunscreen and then the last few words are "The key is to never burn." Really? Thanks Tips. Also, so many skincare companies now have mineral sunscreens with no chemicals to be absorbed by the skin. Maybe next time let someone who knows a little something on the topic write the article.