Green Alarmism about Sunscreen Debunked

Often spoon-fed alarmist hype by green activist groups, reporters rarely get the science right about the risks associated with trace chemicals found in consumer products. Accordingly, kudos go to the author of a piece published on Fox News (originally published on, which debunks activist-generated misinformation about chemicals used to make sunscreens. In the past, I have pointed out that Fox News has blindly reported misinformation pushed by greens, particularly the Environmental Working Group, so this latest report is refreshing. 

The story explains:

[T]he skin experts Health talked to were adamant that we should be more worried about shielding our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays than about the chemical makeup of the products we’re using to do that.

“Five million Americans are treated for skin cancer each year, and an estimated 9,940 people will die of melanoma”— the deadliest type of skin cancer— ”in 2015,” Steven Wang, MD, head of dermatological surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Basking Ridge in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, told Health. “The biggest precaution that you should be taking is using sunscreen. There is enough research at this point from various credible bodies that say sunscreens are safe and, when used appropriately, will reduce skin cancer.”

This reporter appears to understand that we need to consider the benefits of products and weigh them against the risks. And it should be clear to any honest observer, that avoiding the real and substantial risk of skin cancer from sun exposure, is far higher than any theoretical and unproven risks associated with short-term, trace exposures to certain manmade chemicals.

This story also does a good job citing research that debunks claims that certain chemicals in sunscreen are potentially impacting human hormones, so-called “endocrine disrupters.”

Yet this very good analysis is tempered by a passing comment suggesting that the bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to make hard clear plastics and resins that line metal food cans, is an “endocrine disrupter” and may increase cancer risk.

But if the author examined the BPA issue the way she did for sunscreens, she would probably draw a different conclusion. Many scientific panels around the world have assessed BPA and determined that the benefits far outweigh any risks from current uses. For more information, see one of my recent articles on the topic here as well as insights on it from many other researchers here posted on my website.

Still the author of this article on sunscreens deserves some credit for doing her homework on that issue. We can only wish that more than a few others will follow her example.