FDA study sheds more light on safety of sunscreen chemicals

Two more ingredients added to list of those absorbed into bloodstream

Sunscreen Chemicals May Be Unsafe, FDA Reports The Food and Drug Administration has said that sunscreen chemicals may be absorbed into people’s bloodstreams. A study in ‘The Journal of the American Medical Association’ found that only cream sunscreen met the FDA's absorption level limits. The FDA states that sunscreens with active ingredients that absorb into the circulatory system at levels greater than 0.5 nanograms per milliliter are a potential risk. Despite the findings, sunscreen remains on

Protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays is a year-round battle. One important tool in our arsenal is sunscreen.

A study published last year found some chemicals in sunscreen are actually absorbed into the bloodstream, however.

» Sunscreen ingredients may enter bloodstream, FDA study finds

Now, the Food and Drug Administration has updated its 2019 study to add the absorption of two more active ingredients.

In the new study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the FDA tested the absorption of active ingredients in four commercially available sunscreen products (lotion, aerosol spray, nonaerosol spray and pump spray).

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Results showed all six active ingredients were absorbed into the body’s bloodstream — even after just one use — regardless of which form the product came in. Many product labels recommend applying their sunscreen every couple of hours for maximum protection.

The FDA points out it has not concluded whether the absorbed ingredients are unsafe. Its studies, it says, are to “fill in the current data gaps for these ingredients.”

"Just because they are absorbed doesn't mean they are unsafe," 2019 study co-author Theresa Michele, director of the division of nonprescription drug products at the FDA, said last year. "That's why we are asking for additional data."

The FDA continues to recommend using sunscreen and sun protective clothing with an SPF of at least 15.

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