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Deciphering the heated debate on sunscreens

By Slate

This article was published June 18, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.

Summer is almost (officially) here, which means it’s time for picnics, pool parties, and every parent’s favorite pastime: chasing after your kid with the sunscreen bottle. But what’s arguably more arduous than slathering lotion onto a screaming 3-year-old is choosing the right sunscreen.

Not only are we presented with hundreds of choices — cool mist or lotion, sensitive skin or extra sensitive skin, SPF 30 or 50 or 75 — many are apparently unsafe, too.

Some critics warn that sunscreens can cause cancer while others claim that certain ingredients increase the risk of infertility. Dr. Mehmet Oz says your sunscreen might be poisonous. In its 2013 Guide to Sunscreens, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group says that only 25 percent of sunscreens on the market are “free of ingredients with serious safety concerns.”

So should we keep our kids indoors for the next three months?

See Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Family section for more.


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