Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Safety Concerns Over High-Tech (Nanotechnology) Sunscreens

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Safety Concerns Over High-Tech (Nanotechnology) Sunscreens

Video Source: ABC 7:30 Report, 17/12/2008. Reporter: Kirstin Murray. Requires Apple Quicktime.


Nanotechnology has been a revolutionary science utilised to improve water supplies, screen for viruses and increase durability in food among its other uses.

Nanoscience has also been used to produce products such as stain resistant clothing and is often found in cosmetic products such as anti-ageing creams and sunscreen.

With this technology being so widely used, questions are being raised as to how safe nanotechnology is in products that are rubbed directly onto human skin.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanotechnology sunscreens are covered in this report.

Current

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles been used since at least 1990 and zinc oxide nanoparticles since 1999.

There is no evidence that sunscreens containing these materials pose any risk to the people using them.

A theoretical concern has been raised that if zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in nanoparticle form are absorbed into skin cells they could possibly interact with sunlight to increase the risk of damage to these cells. However, initial studies are limited in number and have proved inconclusive.

The most recent review (2006) by the Australian TGA found that there is evidence from isolated cell experiments that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can induce free radical formation in the presence of light and that this may damage these cells (photo-mutagenicity with zinc oxide).

However, this would only be of concern in people using sunscreens if the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide penetrated into viable skin cells.

The weight of current evidence is that they remain on the surface of the skin and in the outer dead layer (stratum corneum) of the skin.

Further Information

Nanotechnology.

A review of the scientific literature on the safety of nanoparticulate titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in sunscreens — PDF, Australian TGA.

A purportedly Safe Sunscreen Guide — Friends of The Earth.

Updated and extended sunscreen comparisons.

General Sunscreen Information

Recommended Sunscreens.

Tanning.

The Truth About Sunscreens.

How To Minimize Exposure.

Optimal Sunscreen Use.

Your Skin and The Sun.

Don't Forget Vitamin D.

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Sunscreens :

Selected Sunscreens : Anti-Aging Sunscreen Reminders : Mineral Makeups as Sunscreens : Sunscreen for Oily Skin : Relying on Sunscreens in Makeup : Zinc Oxide Sunscreens are Usually Superior : The Evolution of Sunscreens : Safety of Micronized Zinc Sunscreens : In-Vitro Sunscreen Performance Evaluations : Safety Concerns Over High-Tech (Nanotechnology) Sunscreens : Different Sunscreens provide Different Skin Protection : L'Oreal and Nivea Sunscreens Fail to Provide Stated SPFs : Flaws in The Current Evaluation of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) : Comparison of 33 Sunscreens : Bungling Avobenzone : UVA: The Trojan Horse of Premature Ageing of the Skin : Effects of UVA Exposure : True Broad Spectrum Sunscreen in Action: Protection of Skin Cell Nuclei and Keratinocytes : Your Skin and The Sun : Optimal Sunscreen Use : The Truth About Sunscreens : Recommended Sunscreens : Select Sunscreen by Common Skin Type : Select Sunscreen by Skin Condition or Treatment : Select Sunscreen by Brand : Sunscreen Brushes : Water-Resistant Sunscreens : Skin Care References for Sunscreens :


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