Researchers find that swimming can cause the protective compounds used in sun screen creams become deadly toxic and lead to cancer



A new research warns people that going swimming while applying sunscreen lotion is dangerous and causes cancer. Researchers say that a compound used in the protecting creams becomes toxic when it reacts with chlorine and ultraviolet rays.

The compound, Avobenzone is considered the most famous sun-blocker in the world for its ability to absorb sunlight at various wavelengths, thereby stopping skin damage. But Russian scientists propose the UV-filtering compound forms cancer-causing toxins when exposed to a mixture of sun and chlorinated water.

Aldehydes, Phenols and chlorinated acetyl benzenes were generated in experiments simulating swimmers wearing sunscreen. The latter two are considered extremely toxic and are strongly linked to deadly tumors and infertility, Lomonosov Moscow State University experts say. 



While a study earlier this year indicated that aldehydes can increase the risk of cancer as they hinder with the body's natural repair mechanism.

Lead author Dr. Albert Lebedev said: 'On the basis of the experiments one could make a conclusion that a generally safe compound transforms in the water and forms more dangerous products.


'In spite of the fact that there are no exact toxicological forms for the most established products, it's known that acetyl benzenes and phenols, particularly chlorinated ones, are quite toxic.


How was the study conducted? 

The researchers used a scanning technique called chromatomass spectrometry to make their findings, published in Chemosphere. This system, on laboratory cells, allows well-defined analysis of the most complex mixtures of chemical compounds.

For the study, they simulated the real condition when a sunscreen, applied on the skin of a swimmer, comes into contact with pool water. The breakdown of avobenzone may take place right on the wet human skin, on which a sunscreen is spread.

Used by millions of people across the world:

Sunscreen containing avobenzone are known to be utilized by millions of people all over the world. Chemical UV filters like avobenzone absorb ultraviolet light due to the peculiarities of their structures. The substance in itself is safe.

As well as being common in sunscreen, they are also used in some personal care products, such as makeup, moisturizers, and lip balms.

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