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Sunscreens: What Works and What's Safe

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Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher(s): Environmental Working Group

Author(s): Kristan Markey; Sonya Lunder; Sean Gray; Rebecca Sutton

Topic: Environment (Pollution and environmental degradation)
Health (Health promotion)

Keywords: sunblock; sunscreen

Type: Report

Abstract:

In a new investigation of 952 name-brand sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 4 out of 5 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. Leading brands were the worst offenders: None of market leader Coppertone's 41 sunscreen products met EWG's criteria for safety and effectiveness, and only 1 of 103 products from Banana Boat and Neutrogena, the second- and third-largest manufacturers, are recommended by EWG.

Many products on the market present obvious safety and effectiveness concerns, including one of every seven that does not protect from UVA radiation This problem is aggravated by the fact that FDA has not finalized comprehensive sunscreen safety standards they began drafting 30 years ago. Overall we identified 143 products that offer very good sun protection with ingredients that present minimal health risks to users. Find out which in our best and worst lists.