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Sunscreen: Prevents Burns, Causes Cancer?

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Sunscreen: Prevents Burns, Causes Cancer?

Nic Sloan, Reporter

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  With the summer sun finally beginning to shine after a long winter, many people across the nation are going to enjoy spending time outdoors. But everyone knows that too much of anything can be bad, with the sun being no exception. So to compensate for that, many people lather on layers of sunscreen to protect from harmful UV radiation. But as it turns out, the very item we use to protect from cancer, actually ends up causing it.

  One thing to take note of when looking at a sunscreen bottle is that they never advertise cancer prevention. What they do advertise is the amount of SPF their product has, and that their product will “block out harmful UV and UVB rays and radiation.” And that’s exactly what they do, but what they don’t advertise is the dozens of toxic chemicals they use to do it.

 Dozens of different studies have found that most sunscreen contains harmful chemicals that are notorious for causing cancer and other diseases. These chemicals include oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, which causes skin cancer and hormone disruption; octyl-methoxycinnamate, which can oxidize and age your face; butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane, which can be the cause for multiple different forms of cancer; and benzophenone 2 (BP2), which decreases thyroid functions. “I know that there are a lot of chemicals in sunscreen that are extremely harmful,” Airica Staley said, “There are also a lot of phthalates in it as well that are harmful in a variety of ways.”

  These chemicals don’t just stay in our skin either. A study conducted at the University of Manitoba, Canada found that all the chemicals previously listed penetrated through the skin and entered dozens of different tissues. This could lead to cancer in more than just the skin, and could cause dozens more issues with muscle tissue problems.

  Oxybenzone is by far the most toxic chemical found in most popular sunscreens. This chemical is used in most sunscreens because of it ability to effectively absorb the sun’s UV radiation. But at the same time, your skin absorbs the chemical, which causes the skin cancer. Oxybenzone not only gives you a greater chance of skin cancer, it also disrupts hormones quite significantly. Octyl-methoxycinnamate has the same effects as oxybenzone as well as skin oxidation, but it is used to block out UVB radiation instead. Both these chemicals are commonly found in most types of sunscreen. And they have both been proven to be toxic when exposed to sunlight.

  In fact, Hawaii is planning to ban to of the toxic chemicals in sunscreen. One of which being oxybenzone, and the other being octinoxate. They’re reasons however, are not only about the toxicity it does to skin and the body, it’s more about the environment for them. These two chemicals have been proven to damage coral reefs, so Hawaii’s cutting off all sunscreens containing either of these to protect their reefs.

  Still not convinced? Take it from the word of Dr. Leonard Coldwell, one of the world’s leading authorities on natural cancer cures. He has conducted multiple studies on the effects of sunscreen usage, and concluded that sunscreen causes more cases of skin cancer than the sun itself. Only ten percent of all cancer is caused by radiation, and even less of that is caused by UV/UVB radiation from the sun according to Dr. Coldwell. It’s mostly caused by radiation from tanning beds, and of course, toxic chemicals such as the ones found in sunscreen.

  So it seems if the sun is still harmful, and sunscreen is harmful, then we should just avoid sun at all costs right? Wrong. The sun itself actually provides many essential health benefits. These include vitamin D, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, eradication of bad bacteria, increased oxygen content, increased immune system, increased growth, and ironically enough, cancer prevention. The sun has proven to be an extremely effective treatment for breast cancer. Dr. Zane Kime is an American physician who uses the sun to treat his patients. It all of his cases it has proven to reverse the effects of the cancer, even in the most severe patients. The way this works is because of the sun’s rich source of vitamin D, which has been proven to treat and prevent types of cancer such as breast cancer.

  Vitamin D does a lot more than just cancer prevention as well. It is an essential vitamin humans require to regulate and promote functions in the body. These include bone health, immune system support, prevention of dementia, excess fat loss, teeth strengthening, and it is essential for treatment of asthma. Vitamin D deficiency also is a large factor that contributes to cancer. And more than 40 percent of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which is mostly thanks to sunscreen. This is due to the fact that sunscreen does not allow the body to absorb vitamin D from the sun.

  Another interesting study found in the medical journal titled The Lancet found that outdoor workers were at a lower risk of developing melanoma, a type of skin cancer. The reasoning for this is because of the sun’s strong source of Vitamin D.

  The general recommendation is to get around 15-30 minutes of direct sunlight a day. Darker skin individual require a little more time due to the increased amount of melanin in their skin. Making sure you are tan is important as it can help avoid sunburns, since your skin becomes more resistant to the sun.

  So the question is, what can you do to keep yourself and others safe? Well the key is to know the item you’re buying. Read the ingredients on the back, most of the toxic chemicals mentioned earlier will likely be listed under “Active Ingredients.” Make sure to avoid these, the most important ones to avoid are oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Look for products that contain zinc and titanium materials instead of the harmful ingredients listed above. Also, humans really don’t need anything with an SPF of 30 or above, so at least stay below that. The higher the SPF, the more toxic the chemicals become. If you’re only planning to be in the sun for a short amount of time, don’t bother with sunscreen. In addition, avoid things such as tanning beds, as they’re much worse when it comes to cancer development compared to both sunscreen and the sun.

  Some other alternatives to consider are natural sunscreens. They’ll come in lower SPF levels, but not most of the time. In fact, carrot seed oil has shown to produce an effect of 38-40 SPF, but only when combined with other ingredients. Coconut oil has proven to give off an SPF of about 8, so while it might not be super effective, it can help. Coconut oil will also moisturize the skin as well. For those who burn easily, stick to the natural sunscreens with a higher SPF, as they will not damage you since they don’t contain all the harmful cancer-causing agents. Making homemade sunscreen with natural ingredients, such as natural oils, can have the same positive effects. “I use natural sunscreen without the harmful chemicals in it,” Airica Staley said. “I use sunscreen with things like zinc oxide, and I’m aware of what’s in my sunscreen”.

  Be on the lookout next time you buy sunscreen, as considering safer options may be the deciding factor of yourself, or someone you know developing cancer.

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Sunscreen: Prevents Burns, Causes Cancer?