Most people have enough fear of skin cancer and photo-aging to give tanning salons wide berth, pun intended. But how safe are sunscreens themselves? Weeks after the New York Times exposed the caprice in assignment of sun protection factors (SPF) last year, Sen. Charles Schumer (D- New York) called on the FDA to investigate reports that an ingredient in most sunscreens — retinyl palmitate – actually causes cancer.
In one FDA study on animals, dismissed by a dermatologist consultant to sunscreen companies as “very premature to even cast doubt about the safety of this chemical,” retinyl palmitate accelerated tumors and lesions in the sun by 21 percent! (Similar studies on humans not animals would be “unethical” say scientists)