Researchers have recently reported that small amounts of a chemical family called benzophenone (BP), which are used in many personal care products and sunscreen products, to help protect the skin and hair from ultraviolet (UV) rays, may be contributing towards the development of endometriosis.
The researchers noted that women with high levels of a particular BP chemical, known as 2,4OH-BP, had a significantly increased risk of endometriosis diagnosis. In fact, women with the highest amounts had a 65% increased risk over those with the lowest levels.
Over 600 women had their urine analysed in two states in the United States (Utah and California) for BP levels and what was found showed the following characteristics:
- Levels of BP in the bloodsteam were higher in the summer
- Levels of BP were higher in those living in California
Which suggests there may be a sunscreen link.
This is the latest in an increasing body of research which suggests that environmental chemicals may well be contributing to endometriosis. Many of these chemicals are found in the food chain and particularly as chemical oestrogens in animal fats.
Even though a link with sunscreen specifically has yet to be researched, it may be worth considering using sunscreens without these hormone disrupting chemicals, as well increasing the amount of organic produce that is eaten.