Tell the FDA: We need safer sunscreens now!

Even though sunscreens are an integral part of protecting our skin from harmful UV rays, some sunscreens on the market may actually be having the opposite effect. Friends of the Earth U.S. and Australia recently released test results showing that many popular sunscreen and cosmetic products -- made by companies including Nivea, L’Oreal and CoverGirl -- contain hazardous forms of a common sunscreen and cosmetics ingredient, anatase titanium dioxide and nano anatase titanium dioxide.

A 2008 study, prompted by reports that coatings on steel roofs were rapidly breaking down in places where workers’ sunscreen-covered hands had touched them, found that nano anatase titanium dioxide in sunscreen was reacting with sunlight and degrading those roof coatings in a matter of weeks. The study and other peer-reviewed science have raised serious concerns about the impact these ingredients may be having on our skin and a number of scientists have questioned the safety of using them in sunscreens and other skin products.

While Europe will soon require safety testing and labeling of nano-ingredients in sunscreens, the FDA has failed to follow suit. That’s why we need your help to call on FDA to protect our children and families by banning anatase titanium oxide from our cosmetics, and ensuring all ingredients, including nano ingredients, are assessed for safety and labeled.

Commissioner Hamburg

Food and Drug Administration

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