The US public health watchdog is concerned that certain ingredients, such as titanium dioxide, may pose a threat to children if they are inhaled unintentionally while the sunscreen is being applied. While studies have shown that titanium dioxide does not appear to cause any harm when applied to the skin, the FDA is concerned about potential problems if it enters the lungs.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) in the US also “strongly discourages” the use of spray sunscreens using titanium dioxide after research found the ingredient could act as a carcinogen when inhaled in high doses.
While the jury is out on the safety on spray sunscreens, check out some of these natural sunscreens:
The EWG also has an extensive database of natural sunscreens, including Eco All Natural Sunscreen. The ingredients of each product in the database have been checked against almost 60 toxicity and regulatory databases, providing consumers with a clear picture of what it contains and highlighting any health concerns. See the EWG website for more information.
And remember that applying sunscreen is only one element of staying sun safe. Katie Clift from the Cancer Council Queensland said: “Always remember to slip on sun protective clothing, slop on SPF30 or above, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen, slap on a broad brimmed hat, seek shade and slide on wrap-around sunglasses.”
To find out more about chemical-free alternatives for your children, read our article on How to clean kids without the chemicals.
For more information on skin cancer and how to stay sunsafe, click here.