Nanoparticles in Sunscreen Not As Harmful As Once Thought

Posted on January 28, 2014


nanoparticles_in_sunscreen_zinc_oxideThere has been lots of controversy in regards to the use of nanoparticles in sunscreens. Zinc Oxide nanoparticles are often used in physical sunscreens as they are colorless, easily spreadable, and provide great sunscreen protection, unlike more traditional zinc oxide creams which apply on thick and appear whitish on the skin. Researchers from the Australian Synchrotron, the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, CSIRO, RMIT, and Monash University have discovered that nano-sized sunscreen particles (1/20th the thickness of a human hair) are absorbed by the body but are removed before they reach the bloodstream.

Within 24 hours, a certain type of white blood cell called a macrophage breaks down 50 to 60% of the sunscreen nanoparticles, with the majority of the remaining particles in the process of decomposition. What this tells us is that our body’s immune system does what is should…destroy foreign objects before they enter the bloodstream. This finding should alleviate concerns as some people believed that nanoparticles can harm living cells and organs.

Posted in: sun protection