Most doctors would agree that reaching for the sunscreen before heading outside is a healthy decision. But a new study published in Chemosphere found that the common sunscreen ingredient avobenzone can actually turn toxic when exposed to chlorine. This can potentially result in kidney and liver dysfunction and nervous system disorders, as Inhabitat reports. What's more, this chemical also breaks down fairly quickly in the sunlight, offering roughly 30 minutes of protection.
Avobenzone was actually approved by the FDA back in 1988 for its ability to absorb UVA rays, which cause premature aging and skin cancer. For that reason, it is applied by millions of people looking to protect themselves from the sun. Of course, this is problematic for those who regularly swim in chlorinated pools while catching rays at the same time.
Based on the multiple studies, "one could make a conclusion that a generally safe compound [can] transform in water and form more dangerous products," said study author Albert Lebedev, MD. "In spite of the fact that there are no precise toxicological profiles for the most established products, it’s known that acetyl benzenes and phenols, especially chlorinated ones, are quite toxic.” For a safe alternative, consider a chemical-free sunscreen like Goddess Garden Organic Natural Sunscreen, which is made with plant-based ingredients and natural minerals.
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