The effects of UV filters on health and the environment

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Photochemical & photobiological sciences


Sunscreens are an important means of protection against sunburns, dyspigmentation, photoaging, and photocarcinogenesis. Sunscreens come in a variety of formulations that can protect against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, both UVB and ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation (broad-spectrum sunscreens), and UVB, UVA, and visible light (tinted broad-spectrum sunscreens). In the USA, there is currently a paucity of FDA-approved broad-spectrum filters on the market. Studies have identified the presence of multiple UV filters in water sources globally. Many laboratory studies have implicated the potential impact of UV filters on coral reef bleaching, the food chain, and human health. However, many of these studies are performed at concentrations that are much higher than those present in the natural environment. With increasing discussion surrounding the role of organic and inorganic UV filters as potential environmental pollutants over the past decade, approval of additional broad-spectrum filters would be an important means of alleviating the use of more controversial filters. The aim of this article is to review the effects of UV filters on health and the environment and explore potential adjunctive agents for photoprotection.

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ePub ahead of print