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.
Further to the release of our anonymous consumer survey of 140 sunscreen and cosmetics companies, FOEA has just published our updated autumn 2010 Safe Sunscreen Guide. The guide includes information on the use of nanoparticles, chemical UV absorbers and fragrances in Australian sunscreens and cosmetics containing sunscreens.
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.
Fact sheet: Nanomaterials and sunscreens