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Don’t stop using sunscreen – just use it wisely

There’s a study that came out this week that largely seems to have got lost amid all the simultaneous news about that still-mysterious but unarguably potentially devastating corona virus doing god alone knows what in China, which brings me to this question: Has any rigid regime run by old men – as are nearly all the world’s rigid regimes with the possible exception of North Korea – ever been honest about anything negative with the rest of the world?

Don’t raise your hands all at once.

My rule of thumb: If it’s a medical thin happening in a rigid regime, it’s regularly gonna change for the worse, over and over again, sometimes slowly, often quickly.

Anyway, back to this non-corona virus study that didn’t get enough attention, I think.

It was a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and it found that some of the chemicals in those ubiquitous and terrifically-promoted sunscreens are indeed – as some people have long warned – absorbed into the body.

That ‘s not really the news, though.

No, what is much more newsworthy, I thin, is that this study claims those levels “raise safety questions”, because the researchers concluded that the blood levels of the chemicals measured in this study were beyond what the FDA considers to be safe levels.

That’s bad enough but what worries me way way, more is that a spokesperson for the FDA said that these worrisome findings mean that there is a need for industry – that is, the makers of these sunscreens – to do more research to determine just how safe (or not) their products are.

So pardon my cynicism but it’s industry who have long told us that their products are safe.

And besides, why would it pay the makers of a product to suddenly discover that the product they are peddling s really not as safe as they said it was?

So what should you do with this news?

Well, assuming that yes, something in all these products does get absorbed, and assuming that there’s at least a potential that that something isn’t really something you want in high levels in your bloodstream, nor in the bloodstream of your kids, of course, it’s best to be wise (probably wiser than you’ve been in the past) about what to do with sunscreen.

Don’t stop using it entirely, of course, because excess sun exposure does raise the risk of skin cancer.

But don’t just slap it on and stroll in the sun all day long.

Cover up more, avoid the sun as much as you can at the hottest times of the day during the hottest months, but if you do need to spend time in the sun, keep using judicious amounts of sunscreen at least until the next scary study comes out.