In news– Recently, US activists and politicians demanded the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reclassify ‘Toxic 3 Os’ used in sunscreen.
- A coalition of 60 environmental groups, community leaders, academics and businesses submitted a Citizen Petition to the FDA, calling for the reclassification of oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene.
- They urged that these chemicals be shifted to “Not Generally Recognized as Safe & Effective” (GRASE Category II).
- They also called for the removal of products that contained these chemicals from the marketplace.
- The petition was prompted by the chemicals’ health risks and the negative impacts to waterways and coastlines.
- Oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene, along with 11 other Soluble Organic UV Filters, were removed from the GRASE Category I (generally recognized as safe & effective) list in February 2019.
- Because the public record does not currently contain sufficient data to support positive GRASE determinations.
- They have since been designated GRASE Category III “insufficient data for use in sunscreens” while continuing to be widely available.
About Toxic 3 Os-
- Toxic 3 Os refers to Oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene.
- They are active ingredients present in more than two-thirds of all sunscreens.
- They pose a threat to public health, marine life and coral reefs.
- Octocrylene in sun protection products degrades into benzophenone, a carcinogen that can also interfere with key hormones and reproductive organs.
- The “Toxic 3 Os” have been shown to destroy coral and trigger health risks to people and marine life.
- They cause human cell damage that has been linked to cancer, disrupt hormones, have been found in breast milk, blood and urine and are known allergens.
- They wash off people’s bodies when they swim and contaminate through waste water runoff and cause ‘zombie’ coral which looks healthy but is unable to reproduce, coral bleaching as well as other issues.
- Oxybenzone is particularly toxic to corals at concentrations as low as a few parts per trillion, the equivalent of three drops in an Olympic-size swimming pool may be enough to severely damage or kill coral.
- Octinoxate, also called Octyl methoxycinnamate or OMC, is a chemical commonly used in cosmetic and skin care products around the world.
- This chemical was first produced in the 1950s to filter out the sun’s UV-B rays. That means it can help shield your skin from sunburn and skin cancer.
- Octocrylene is used as an ingredient in sunscreens and cosmetics and is a viscous, oily liquid that is clear and colorless.