Sunscreen ingredients shown to exceed safety threshold

18 Feb 2020

A study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that many common sunscreen ingredients can result in exposure levels which exceed the FDA threshold for safety testing.

The FDA’s division of applied regulatory science carried out a randomised clinical trial to assess the systemic absorption and pharmacokinetics of six active ingredients (avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate) in four over-the-counter sunscreens.

The formulas were tested on 48 healthy study participants and revealed that sunscreen formulations were systemically absorbed and had plasma concentrations that surpassed the FDA threshold. No serious drug-related adverse effects were reported.

The study acted as a follow-up to the same research carried out in 2019 on 24 volunteers, expanding the sample size and testing additional active sunscreen ingredients and formulations, which confirmed the previous results.

The FDA highlights the new findings do not indicate that sunscreen ingredients are unsafe, and the association has stated that individuals should continue using products for ultraviolet protection.

The FDA has proposed further testing into the issue to determine the clinical significance of the findings.


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