Food and Technology Blog

Public Warned About Nanosunscreen Risks

Posted Jun. 16, 2010 / Posted by: Ian Illuminato


For Immediate Release
Ian Illuminato,, 301-606-7526
Nick Berning,, 202-222-0748
Summer Public Education Effort Launched to Warn Consumers of Risks Posed by Nanosunscreens
Friends of the Earth runs ads calling attention to new scientific findings indicating that sunscreens containing manufactured nanoparticles could threaten human and environmental health
Washington, D.C.The environmental watchdog group Friends of the Earth announced today that it has launched a summer advertising and public education campaign intended to alert the public to the risks posed by nanosunscreens.
“What many beachgoers and others enjoying the summer sun don’t know is that the sunscreens they’re using contain manufactured nanoparticles that pose health risks,” said Friends of the Earth’s health and environment campaigner, Ian Illuminato. “What more and more studies are showing is that manufactured nanoparticles may be able to damage cells and have harmful health repurcussions. They also pose risks to workers and the environment, and there’s no evidence that they make sunscreens more effective at blocking the sun’s harmful rays.”
Friends of the Earth has placed an overview of the latest research related to nanosunscreens and human health at, and is advertising the web page via ads on several websites.
The research indicates that nanomaterials used in sunscreens (such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide) can:
·         Damage human colon cells.
·         Damage brain stem cells in mice.
·         Penetrate healthy adult skin.
·         Travel up the food chain from smaller to larger organisms.
·         Damage important microbes in the environment.
·         Travel from mothers to unborn fetuses.
Friends of the Earth is calling on sunscreen manufacturers to avoid using manufactured nanoparticles in sunscreens and on federal officials to require that sunscreens containing manufactured nanoparticles be labeled as such. Consumers who wish to avoid the risks posed by nanosunscreens are encouraged to protect themselves from the sun in other ways, including via hats, clothing, sun umbrellas and nano-free sunscreens.
More information is available at
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