Fact Check: No! Sunscreen Does Not Cause Skin Cancer Or Vitamin D Deficiency; Claim Is False

A post is being shared on different social media platforms with a claim that sunscreen is more harmful than sun rays. It further claims that sunscreen can cause skin cancer and lead to Vitamin D deficiency.

The text of the post reads, “The sunscreen industry has grown to $2bn but melanoma rates continue to increase. Interesting huh? Sunscreen doesn’t “protect” you against the sun. It blocks UVB and it dumps toxins into your bloodstream. These toxic chemicals have been detected in the blood above acceptable FDA levels. It also prevents you from synthesizing vitamin D, a contributing factor to why sun deficiencies are linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, heart disease and diabetes...READ MORE

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NewsMobile did a fact check and found that all the claims in the post are FAKE.

Claim 1: Sunscreen is more dangerous than the sun

We found that World Health Organisation (WHO) on its website has stated that overexposure to sunlight is the underlying cause for harmful effects on the skin, eye and immune system. Experts believe that four out of five cases of skin cancer could be prevented, as UV damage is mostly avoidable.

It further explains the people can protect themselves from the sun by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15+ liberally and re-apply every two hours, or after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoors.

Claim 2: It dumps toxins into your bloodstream

Coming to the second claim, we found that Dr Jennifer Lin, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School has stated that Oxybenzone is a chemical that has the ability to cross cell membranes. However, there has been no conclusive evidence that oxybenzone is harmful to humans.

Claim 3: Sunscreen can cause skin cancer among other diseases

Dr Lin explained that a high amount of sun exposure elevates the risk of skin cancer whereas sunscreen absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet rays and provide protection to the skin and eyes. She further stated that there are excellent studies that sunscreen protects against all three of the most common skin cancers: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Claim 4: Sunscreen can cause Vitamin D deficiency

We found a report by the British public broadcaster, BBC, which quoted Rachel Neale, associate professor at QIMP Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia. Neale explained that the mechanism of sunburn is different to vitamin D production, and there is a weight of evidence suggesting that applying sunscreen doesn’t seem to influence vitamin D levels much.

Hence, based on the above information, it can be stated that the various claims made in the post about sunscreen are false and misleading.


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