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Popular sunscreens cause skin cancer, say researchers
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Far from protecting you from skin cancer, many popular sunscreen products directly cause it

Far from protecting you from skin cancer, many popular sunscreen products directly cause it. Zinc oxide in the sunscreen reacts to direct sunlight, damaging cells and increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet light from the sun starts a chemical reaction in the zinc oxide that releases free radicals - unstable molecules - that interfere with the DNA in cells. This, in turn, makes them more vulnerable to skin cancer and other diseases.
Researchers from Missouri University of Science and Technology estimate that the zinc oxide begins to react within an hour of being exposed to the sun. In one laboratory test, half the cells in a zinc oxide solution had died after three hours' exposure to UV light, and 90 per cent had died after 12 hours.
However, say the researchers, it's still better to wear sunscreen than to go out into the sun without protection - or, perhaps, buy a sunscreen that doesn't contain zinc oxide.
(Source: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2012; publication date to be decided).


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