Dear friends, this is the paper that I have poured my heart into. I wish these words were not interrupted with so many citations and quotes, but that is what you get with a research paper. Thank you for taking the time to read, learn, and hopefully enjoy. A little side note "Rebecca" is me, and that really happened.
The Harmful Effect of Sunscreen
One evening when exiting an elevator after a day in the sun Rebecca crossed paths with a couple of opinionated women. They took one look at her sunburn and gave her a hassle about it. Trying to escape embarrassment she responded, “I need a souvenir to take back to Oregon,” to which one replied, “Like what, skin cancer?” followed by vexing laughter. She was ashamed of herself for not using sunscreen. Although she should have taken precautionary measures to prevent sunburn, she could have benefited from the knowledge that sunscreen can be dangerous to a person's health. Sunscreen blocks the body's ability to manufacture vitamin D, uses problematic chemicals, and has not been proven to protect against skin cancer.
Sunscreen blocks the body's ability to manufacture vitamin D. In Dermatologist Jordi Farrerons objective to investigate whether sunscreen may lead to loss of bone mass, he conducted a two year study of “Sunscreen and Risk of Osteoporosis in The Elderly,” in it he states, “Vitamin D is of capitol importance for calcium absorption and bone health. Humans synthesize vitamin D chiefly by conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol into pre vitamin in the presence of ultraviolet radiation”(Farrerons). In other words, humans obtain vitamin D through bare skin exposure to the sun. The ultraviolet radiations, or uv rays, needed for synthesizing, are the exact things sunscreen blocks. Blocking the rays that health care providers suggest cause cancer results in blocking the vitamin that helps us ward off cancer in the first place. Vitamin D builds strong bones. It is becoming evident that it protects against a number of deadly cancers (“Dermatologist Touts the Benefits of Sun Exposure without Sunscreen to Help the Body make enough Vitamin D to Help Prevent Cancer”). “We might be smarter if we use less sunscreen,” suggests reporter Patricia Neighmond for NPR news, who interviewed epidemiologist Dr. Giovannucci for the article (“Dermatologist Touts the Benefits of Sun Exposure without Sunscreen to Help the Body make enough Vitamin D to Help Prevent Cancer”). Vitamin D deficiency cancers outnumber skin cancer deaths (“Dermatologist Touts the Benefits of Sun Exposure without Sunscreen to Help the Body make enough Vitamin D to Help Prevent Cancer”). Unfortunately with all this sunscreen lathering advice comes the reduction in the very much needed vitamin D Synthesis. Epidemiologist Dr. Giovannucci states that, “Vitamin D might prevent more cancers than Sunscreen does” (Giovannucci). Doctor Holick, who is a dermatologist, states in his book, The UVAdvantage, that he advocates the health benefits of the sun. Dr. Holick is most known for his vitamin D research (Skernivitz). He claims, “The U.S. population is deficient in the vitamin,” and suggests that the easiest way to remedy what Holick calls a “medically significant epidemic,” is to, “invite the moderate sun exposure...omitting sunscreen, of course” (Skernivitz). Alarmingly it is just one more contradiction we face as a nation concerning our health. Therefore, there is validity to the claim that we should invite moderate sun exposure into our regimen.
Sunscreen uses chemicals that can cause a host of problems. Doctor Seri-Levy, Ph.D., chemist and chief executive officer of Sol-Gel Technologies Ltd. Of Israel, states in a Free Radical theory, “Some researchers have claimed that sunscreen chemicals decompose into free radicals. These reactions may be caused by the chemicals themselves, or by the by-products that may be formed by chemical interaction or decomposition”(Coriene). There have been reports that sunscreen products have caused cutaneous, or skin affecting reactions to in vitro model systems (Coriene). According to The Environmental Working Group, who released the 2012 Sunscreen Guide; they warn against the use of a type of vitamin A called retinyl palmate found in sunscreen. This chemical can increase the risk of skin cancer when the sun is exposed to the skin on which sunscreen is applied (Dellorto). Sunscreen contains ample amounts of problems related to chemicals that can all together be avoided.
Sunscreen gives a person a false sense of security regarding the prevention of skin cancer. One way sunscreen is proven to be a danger to the human race is through lack of knowledge. A majority of people are under the impression that if they put sunscreen on they can just stay in the sun all day carte blanche (“Sunscreen Can't Give Blanket Protection”). Sure sunscreen will protect the skin from aging, and a sun burn, but what about the things going on underneath that we cannot see? People are spending an increased amount of time in the sun with no regard to overexposure simply because they have applied sunscreen. A day spent people watching at the beach, or at a carnival would exhibit peoples' overexposure due to the “safety” mindset of wearing sunscreen. The following quote is in relation to a study done regarding malignant tumors being able to form, after exposure to the sun, despite the use of sunscreen.
“In a study, researchers applied either a sunscreen or an oil-water mixture to mice's ears and tails. After 20 minutes, the team exposed some mice for 20 to 27 minutes to UV-B, the rays most sunscreens try to block. They repeated the exposure twice a week for three weeks, so the mice received about three times the UV-B needed to give them a sunburn. After the final session, the researchers injected all of the mice's ears with melanoma cells from genetically identical mice to see how well their immune system fought off the cancerous cells. The group of mice put under the sunlamp had a higher incidence of melanoma tumors than the unexposed mice.” (“Sunscreen Can't Give Blanket Protection”).
The aforementioned study is one more piece of evidence proving that sunscreen does not protect against skin cancer. In Janice Stanger, Ph.D.'s article "Six Hidden Dangers of Sunscreen You Must Know for Summer." she states, “The evidence that sunscreen protects you against skin cancer is weak and inconsistent. More than two million Americans develop skin cancer annually, and the incidence of this condition is rising. In fact, some studies have found an increased risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, among those who use more sunscreen” (Stanger). In the “old days” before sunscreen, people had devices they used to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun. Umbrellas, hats, and clothes are still available for our use today.
With a result of vitamin D deficiency and too much time in the sun, if people continue to use sunscreen the way they use it now, they will be faced with higher numbers of cancer than humanity has ever known. People will be saturated with harmful chemicals that cause reactions in their body that will do nothing less than harm in the long run. Heed the warnings of research before you. Omit sunscreen from your regimen.
Afterthought: I realize that you as the reader have your opinion of how you will relate to the facts above. I just want to say that I do plan to use sunscreen, only in a responsible manner. I had to be one sided in this essay for the sake of the argument. I also received my grade on this paper...I got an A!!!!!!!
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