Sunscreen May Pose Risk of Fertility Problems in Men
Summer is just around the corner and the use of sunscreen will be in full force. But before you head out for a weekend of fun in the sun, you should know a new study from the National Institutes of Health found that chemicals used in sunscreens and other personal care products may cause infertility problems in men.
Researchers followed 500 couples that participated in a larger study for the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment. LIFE studies the relationship between fertility, lifestyle and chemical exposure.
What researchers found is that couples with difficulties conceiving were exposed to benozophenone (BP)-type ultraviolet chemicals used in sunscreens. Even though both partners were exposed, the male participants displayed a greater susceptibility to this group of chemicals.
“The skin is the body’s largest organ and how we care for our skin matters in more ways than one,” said Dr. Germaine Louis, Ph.D., lead researcher. “Sunscreen is important for sun protection and we definitely encourage people to continue using sunscreen to avoid skin cancer. But men who are concerned about fertility may be interested in other ways to reduce their exposure to benozophenone UV filters-whether by cutting back on other products that contain the UV filters or by washing after returning indoors.”