Top sunscreen brands pledge to avoid using high risk nano ingredients

\TOPFriends of the Earth today released Australia's first consumer guide to avoiding high risk 'nanoparticle' ingredients in sunscreens. 18 of 68 Australian brands surveyed have claimed that their sunscreens are now free of nanotechnology ingredients.

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TOP SUNSCREEN BRANDS PLEDGE TO AVOID USING HIGH RISK NANO INGREDIENTS

Friends of the Earth today released Australia's first consumer guide to avoiding high risk 'nanoparticle' ingredients in sunscreens. 18 of 68 Australian brands surveyed have claimed that their sunscreens are now free of nanotechnology ingredients.

In a significant break through, iconic 'nano-sunscreen' brands such as Invisible Zinc, previously endorsed by model Megan Gale, have changed their formulations to go 'nano-free'. Among the nano-free brands listed in the guide are Amcal house brand, Banana Boat, the Cancer Council, Coles house brand, Le Tan and The Wiggles.

"Test tube studies have shown that nanoparticle ingredients in sunscreens produce dangerous free radicals and damage DNA, especially with exposure to UV light," said Friends of the Earth nanotechnology spokesperson Georgia Miller.

"Shockingly, Blue Scope Steel has found that colour bond roofs that have come into contact with nano-sunscreens age 100 times more rapidly than those that have not."

"Yet the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has refused to subject nano sunscreen ingredients to new safety testing or to make companies label them. Until now, Australians have had no ability to choose to avoid nano-sunscreens."

"For the first time, our sunscreen consumer guide gives people a choice to avoid risky nano-sunscreens, and reveals that top Australian sunscreen brands including Banana Boat, The Cancer Council and The Wiggles are now nano-free."

"Even Invisible Zinc, previously promoted by model Megan Gale for its nano zinc oxide base, has told us that it has changed its formulation to use much larger -- and less risky -- particle ingredients."

"In 2006 the TGA said that 70% of sunscreens that use titanium dioxide and 30% of the sunscreens that use zinc oxide contained these ingredients in nano form."

"However in a blow to transparency, nearly three quarters of the 68 sunscreen brands we surveyed refused to disclose whether or not they use nano-ingredients, and not a single brand was prepared to acknowledge using nanoparticles."

"The TGA has failed to respond to recommendations from the recent NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into nanotechnology that nanoparticles face safety assessment as new chemicals and that their use in sunscreens be labelled."

"Friends of the Earth repeats its call for all nano-sunscreens to be removed from sale until nano ingredients face mandatory safety testing, and mandatory labelling to give Australians a choice about whether or not to use them", said Ms Miller.

For further information: Georgia Miller 0437 979 402

The sunscreen guide can be found here .