May 18th, 2009
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Summer just got more complicated. Now, in addition to watching out for skin-withering UV rays, you may want to examine your sunscreens for nanoparticles.
Nanoparticles might sound like the smaller (even tiny!) issue here, compared with the serious matter of protecting yourself from skin cancer with adequate sunscreen.
Here’s why some people believe you need to worry about both the sun and the nanos. Some research shows that nanos release free radicals that are activated by UV exposure.
Here’s what a March 2009 advisory from Friends of the Earth reports:
“Scientific studies have shown that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide commonly used in sunscreens and cosmetics can produce free radicals, damage DNA and cause cell toxicity, especially when exposed to UV light. The concern is that rather than offering