UPDATE; In September 2012, Friends of the Earth selected several Australia sunscreens which we hoped were free from untested and unsafe nano-ingredients. We submitted these sunscreens for testing by the Government’s National Measurement Institute, with the hope of being able to offer some non-nano sunscreen options to stay sun-safe, while avoiding participating in the nano-experiment. Sadly, all the tested sunscreen products were found to contain a high proportion of nanoparticles. Therefore, we are in the difficult situation of not being able to recommend any non-nano sunscreen products at the moment.
Using sunscreen is important to help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. So no-one wants to use sunscreens that may make sun damage worse. This summer’s Safe Sunscreen Guide gives the Australian public brand information to choose nano-free. This year we also include secondary sunscreens (moisturisers, anti-ageing creams and mineral foundations).
Given the concerns around the health risks of some nanoparticles, and the potential problems associated with chemical UV-absorbers, Friends of the Earth Australia recommends using a non-nano, zinc based sunscreen. Because nanotechnology is already being used without labelling in Australian sunscreens, we have produced this safe sunscreen guide to help make this choice easy for you and hope you find it useful.