The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ian Illuminato,, 301-606-7526
Nick Berning,, 202-222-0748

Summer Public Education Effort Launched to Warn Consumers of Risks Posed by Nanosunscreens

Friends of the Earth runs ads calling attention to new scientific findings indicating that sunscreens containing manufactured nanoparticles could threaten human and environmental health


The environmental watchdog group
Friends of the Earth announced today that it has launched a summer
advertising and public education campaign intended to alert the public
to the risks posed by nanosunscreens.

"What many beachgoers and others
enjoying the summer sun don't know is that the sunscreens they're using
contain manufactured nanoparticles that pose health risks," said Friends
of the Earth's health and environment campaigner, Ian Illuminato. "What
more and more studies are showing is that manufactured nanoparticles
may be able to damage cells and have harmful health repurcussions. They
also pose risks to workers and the environment, and there's no evidence
that they make sunscreens more effective at blocking the sun's harmful

Friends of the Earth has placed an
overview of the latest research related to nanosunscreens and human
health at,
and is advertising the web page via ads on several websites.

The research indicates that
nanomaterials used in sunscreens (such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide)

* Damage human colon cells.
* Damage brain stem cells in mice.
* Penetrate healthy adult skin.

* Travel up the food chain from smaller to
larger organisms.

* Damage important microbes in the environment.

* Travel from mothers to unborn fetuses.

Friends of the Earth is calling on
sunscreen manufacturers to avoid using manufactured nanoparticles in
sunscreens and on federal officials to require that sunscreens
containing manufactured nanoparticles be labeled as such. Consumers who
wish to avoid the risks posed by nanosunscreens are encouraged to
protect themselves from the sun in other ways, including via hats,
clothing, sun umbrellas and nano-free sunscreens.

More information is available at

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

(202) 783-7400