Reported on: June 05, 2012 11:59 AM
Reported in: Lifestyle
Indian Express Online
Do you use sunscreen more frequently? Beware, as an ingredient used in the lotions can cause painful gynaecological condition called endometriosis, scientists say.
Past research has found that the ingredient benzophenone mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and has been linked to skin reactions.
But the new study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, claimed that small amounts of the chemical can pass through the skin and be absorbed into the blood where they are linked with an increased risk of endometriosis.
The condition, in which uterine tissue grows outside the womb, affects 1,500,000 women of reproductive age in the UK alone.
"This study is a salutary warning about this ingredient," Prof Nick Lowe, a leading skin specialist, was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
Dr Lowe, who works in London and California, added: "I wouldn¿t use this chemical on myself or my family and I am particularly worried about its use on children who are still developing."
Prof John Hawk, a specialist on the effects of sunlight on the skin, at King¿s College London, said: "There are more modern and more reliable ingredients available, so I suggest it should be phased out.
"Young babies and children should avoid it."
US scientists analysed benzophenone levels in the urine of 625 women who had surgery for endometriosis. They found high levels of a type of the chemical were linked with an increased risk of an endometriosis diagnosis.
Other research has shown that benzophenone, which is found in some cosmetics, can cause allergic reactions and absorbs through the skin in significant amounts.
Laboratory studies have linked it to adverse effects on the brain and nervous system, fertility and hormone problems.