It’s summer time which means your children are out of school and probably playing outside or at the pool. With record high temperatures all over the country, it’s important to use sunscreen especially during the peak hours of the day from 10am to 4pm. Some sun exposure is actually good for your child as it helps the body maintain the necessary levels of Vitamin D. However, too much exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays puts your child at risk for skin cancer. But, you also have to be careful that the sunscreen product you’re using doesn’t put your family at risk for other health problems.
In all, 84 percent of the 831 sunscreens EWG tested did not pass health and environmental muster. Many containedpotentially harmful chemicals like Benzophenone, homosalate and octyl methoxycinnamate (also called octinoxate), which are known to mimic naturally occurring bodily hormones and can thus throw the body’s systems out of whack. Some also contained Padimate-0 and parsol 1789 (also known as avobenzone), which are suspected of causing DNA damage when exposed to sunlight. Furthermore, EWG found that more than half the sunscreens on the market make questionable product claims about longevity, water resistance and UV protection.
Environmental Working Group has just released their 2009 Sunscreen Guide: http://www.ewg.org/cosmetics/report/sunscreen09
With over 1500 products, now including lip balm and moisturizer, it's the best resource for finding safe and effective sunscreen. (Especially considering 3/5 of the products analyzed were found to provide inadequate protection or contain potentially harmful ingredients.)