Oh, how I wish I was going to be at the beach this weekend, worrying about sunburn.
Instead, I'll be working in the garden, mostly. But that's kind of good, too. I love to mux around in the dirt.
And I guess I should be careful about the sun in the garden, too.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency is taking the opportunity of the holiday weekend to remind people that exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. So yesterday, which the agency dubbed "Don't FryDay," officials began urging people to wear shirts, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Problem is, some sunscreens have harmful chemicals. And if you're slathering them all over your skin several times a day, it's worth thinking about.
Earlier this week, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group released its annual sunscreen guide, which evaluates more than 1,700 products. It was satisfied with only about 20 percent.
"In the wild west of sunscreens, sun-seekers are still faced with shelves filled with problematic ingredients, unsubstantiated marketing claims and lack-luster protection – three out of five sunscreens offer inadequate UVA protection," the EWG said.
"The fugitive ingredients that have successfully skipped any federal criticism from the lethargic Food and Drug Administration, tasked with overseeing the safety of personal products, still saturate the market, putting children, teens and adults at potential risk for endocrine disruption and even expedited skin tumor developments."
The group offers these tips:
• Look for mineral protection from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
• Avoid oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate (sometimes listed as vitamin A)
• Pick creams and lotions over sprays and powders
• Try to physically block the sun with protective clothing, sunglasses and hats
• Minimize sun exposure from 10:00 to 4:00 when rays are strongest
• Reapply sunscreens at least every two hours, or after getting wet or sweaty