A recent study has shown that a potent sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, may be a cause of endometriosis. This condition occurs when uterine tissue grows in abnormal sites in the abdomen and causes severe pain. Women are usually diagnosed because of severe cramping during their periods. In this study of 600 women, those with the highest levels of a form of oxybenzone in their urine had a 65 percent increased risk of endometriosis. Oxybenzone, like bisphenol-A (BPA), is a chemical that mimics estrogen. And endometriosis growth is fed by estrogen.
This study should be another warning sign that oxybenzone should not be put on the skin. The highest levels of oxybenzone in the urine of women in this study occurred in the months of July and August, proof that the sunscreen ingredient is readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Exposure to sunlight promotes good health. The more sun exposure we get, the better our bodies function. Preventing sunburn during the hottest part of the day is a good idea. Sunburn damages the skin. But with all of the evidence that sunlight is beneficial in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, maintaining a strong immune system, and building bones, no one should be using sunscreens on a routine or daily basis.
This study provides further evidence that commercial sunscreens that contain cancer-causing and estrogenic chemicals should never be used. Sunscreens with oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA are dangerous. The only proven safe sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide.
Kunisue T, Chen Z, Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Hediger ML, Sun L, Kannan K. Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-type UV Filters in U.S. Women and Their Association with Endometriosis. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Apr 17;46(8):4624-32. Epub 2012 Mar 29.