Thursday, July 12, 2012

Something else to worry about

For years, I've been telling friends not to use sunscreens that go on as a spray. This goes triple for kids. There are nanoparticles in most sunscreens these days and we have no clue how harmful they are once they get inside the human body. 

Here's an excerpt from the linked article:
Scientists don't yet know how long nanoparticles remain in the human body or what they might do there. But research on animals has found that inhaled nanoparticles can reach all areas of the respiratory tract; because of their small size and shape, they can migrate quickly into cells and organs. The smaller particles may also pose risks to the heart and blood vessels, the central nervous system and the immune system, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The old, creepy white zinc sunscreens that lifeguards used to use on their noses are safe. And okay, they're ugly too -- but they have no nanoparticles. If you really want to protect yourself and your kids, be very careful with sunscreens. They're not labeled as having nanoparticles in them because the US is a third world country that doesn't pay attention to anything anymore.

If you have kids, make sure you don't spray sunscreen on them. They'll breathe it in and it will never come out of their bodies. (I know the article says they're not sure how long the nanoparticles remain in the body, but I've read that they never leave and there is no way to remove them once you've breathed them in.) If there's no other choice, cover the kids' faces as you spray them. It's also dangerous if they lick skin that has sunscreen on it, so watch that too. Protect your kids (and yourself, too).

And don't worry, our crack FDA team is on it:
Though nanomaterials have been used in consumer products for more than a decade, the FDA acknowledged for the first time in April that they differ from their bulk counterparts and have potential new risks that may require testing.

Updated to fix link. Lost the original story, substituted a similar one.