Shining a light on sunscreen guidelines
Dermatologists are at odds with some points made by the Environmental Working Group. Here's a look at some of the main issues.
Karen Ravn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The EWG says regular sunscreen use has been shown to reduce risk for squamous cell cancer (treatable; comprises 16% of skin cancers) but not necessarily for basal cell cancer (treatable; 80%) or melanoma (potentially deadly; 4%). Also, while new federal rules slated to take effect in December allow sunscreen makers to claim that their products lower the risk of skin cancer, they will not allow makers to claim their products do so alone that is, without other protective measures.
Sunscreen users stay out in the sun longer and end up exposed to more UV radiation than non-users. "I think this is because when using sunscreen, people change their behaviors and feel much more invincible," says David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG.
There are two main types of sunscreens: physical (mineral or inorganic) and chemical (organic). Physical screens (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) work by deflecting UV rays, while chemical screens work by absorbing them (instead of your skin doing so).
- The Latest on Nepal Quake: Stronger quake may...
- Family wins security system, keeps son on...
- Doctor: Vaccines result in healthy immune system
- Joseph Cramer, M.D.: A different view of the...
- UK premier defends royals' right to choose...
- Town prays for Texas ice cream maker linked...
- Exercise is a 'miracle cure,' but not for...
- Abuse of ADHD drugs expands beyond campuses
- Doctor: Vaccines result in healthy... 50
- Joseph Cramer, M.D.: A different view... 7
- Health law brings growth in food stamps... 4
- Few vets getting care through $10... 2
- UK premier defends royals' right to... 2
- Amy Choate-Nielsen: How one community... 2
- Family wins security system, keeps son... 2
- Town prays for Texas ice cream maker... 1