An ingredient in some sunscreens, designed to block the sun’s cancer-causing ultraviolet light, can break down into a substance also linked to cancer, according to a newspaper report.
The finding has prompted more testing to determine whether there is any cancer risk to people who use the products, say scientists.
Ingredients in sunscreen that cause skin cancer
In tests by the US Food and Drug Administration, 14 of 17 sunscreens containing the sun-blocking agent Padimate O were found to also contain a newly discovered nitrosamine.
Nitrosamines are a class of compounds notorious for their cancer-causing ability. Roughly 90 percent of the 300 nitrosamines tested so far have been shown to cause cancer in animals.
Scientists said testing so far had not established whether the newly discovered nitrosamine was a strong enough carcinogen, or cancer causer, to present any substantial risk to sunscreen users. Padimate O is found in some, but not all sunscreen products.
Nitrosamines were a large class of chemicals found widely in nature and humans were often exposed through eating vegetables and other foods,
Nitrosamines first gained widespread notice in the 1970s. They were found in tobacco smoke and snuff, vegetables and processed meats, alcoholic drinks, cosmetics, pesticides, baby-bottle nipples, tyre-manufacturing plants and even new cars.
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