Most of the women all over the world use sunscreen or sun-block. Kelvin Leung Sze-yin, Associate Professor at the HKBU said “UV light increases the risk of premature skin aging, freckles and triggers skin cancer. Organic or chemical UV filters that can absorb or block UV radiation, are extensively applied in personal care products including sunscreens.” Many studies found that about 70% of these sunscreens contain oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is an organic compound that provides UV coverage. It is also absorbed by the skin due to the sun’s heat and it stays in our bodies for a long time. According to some studies, there is a relationship between oxybenzone in sunscreens and a birth defect called Hirschsprung’s disease (HSCR). How does this happen? What is the solution?
The majority of pregnant women who use sunscreens that contain oxybenzone are not aware of the hazard caused by it. They are more likely to be affected and their infants could be diagnosed by Hirschsprung. It is a rare disease that affects a newborn’s large intestine and sometimes it may require surgery. Thomas Dardarian, D.O., president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Fort Worth Texas says “When it’s time to have a bowel movement there are neurotransmitters that are sent from the body to the colon to signal this. But with Hirschsprung’s disease, there’s no transmitter there for it to reach the colon, and as a result, the infant gets constipated.”
Many doctors and researchers advise women, especially pregnant women, to avoid chemical products such as those sunscreens because they stay in their bodies for weeks after the use. Generally, women should instead look for natural and organic skincare that does not contain any chemicals for example, sunscreens that use titanium oxide or zinc oxide instead.
Additionally, it is necessary that health care practitioners have to educate their clients and patients on either using or avoiding the use of endocrine disrupting chemicals such as oxybenzone.
Moreover, it would be better if those sunscreens were banned so that the danger will be reduced. For example, HawaiiKey West and Florida announced that theyare going to ban all products with the oxybenzone because it threats humans’ health, particularly pregnant women.