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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Don’t be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is incredibly healthy for you and your family, Play outdoorsjust use some common sense and smart sun protection!

We talking a few weeks ago about ways to be sustainable this summer and one of the things we talking about was how to safely get out in the sun. I thought I would revisit that today and expand a little on the subject.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Top Sun Safety Tips:

  • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!
  • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start.
  • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.
  • Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

Read more at EWG’s 2013 Sunscreen Guide and check out Sunscreens Exposed: Nine Surprising Truths.

We can also protect ourselves from the sun naturally by avoiding toxic chemicals in sunscreens, using natural ingredients and eating foods that protect against sun damage.

There has been an increase in awareness about the use of chemicals in personal care products and their effects. As a result, there has been more emphasis on researching natural substances. Much of the research only proves knowledge already known from generations past, but there are also very interesting new findings that prove the power of the natural world.

  • Green Tea polyphenols, a substance rich in antioxidants that forms part of the green tea leaves, has been mainstream news for awhile now. Research continues to be done today for using green tea for many conditions, including sun protection. (Yusuf et al.) Green tea high in polyphenols has shown to provide internal and external protection from UV radiation and in turn, photo aging.
  • Black tea gel, another ingredient more recently talked about, was studied for its absorption of ultraviolet rays. The study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (Dec. 2007) tested exposed skin of six subjects with an artificial source of UV light. Those participants with black tea gel on their skin were unaffected by the radiation, while the subjects with nothing on their skin started seeing reddening after four hours of exposure. (Turkoglu et al)
  • Broccoli extract has been studied extensively for its anti-cancerous effects as a food. A recent study has shown that applying broccoli extract topically, which is rich in an antioxidant ingredient called sulphoraphane, gave subjects protection against inflammation and redness caused by UV light. The research showed that instead of absorbing the radiation, the sulphoraphane penetrated the body and helped cells protect themselves against the damages of UV light, even three days after its application. (Talalay et al)

That is why the best kind of protection after all is what you put in your body. Foods like the ones mentioned above, like green tea and broccoli that have been proven to be anti-cancer, are a good start to add to any diet. If those are not to your liking, or you can’t get the kids to eat broccoli, maybe some pasta with tomato sauce will do. Studies have also been done on foods high in carotenoids, such as tomatoes. The research has shown that tomatoes cooked with olive oil, are said to release these carotenoids that can supply the body with some sun protection, what could be an SPF of 2 or 3. (Stahl W. et al)

Source: Natural Sun Protection: Research Shows Efficacy Using Natural Ingredients as Sunscreen

It’s worth mentioning again: Above all, do not be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is healthy for you and your family, just use some common sense and smart sun protection.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

EWG’s 2013 Guide to Sunscreen at http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/.

An ideal sunscreen would block the majority of UVA and UVB rays with active ingredients that do not break down in the sun, so that the product remains effective. It would also contain only active and inactive ingredients that are proven to be completely safe for both adults and children. Unfortunately, there is no sunscreen on the U.S. market that meets all these criteria and no simple way for consumers to know how well a given product stacks up. That’s why EWG created this guide to safer and more effective sunscreens.

The Environmental Working Group’s team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers goes over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and their own laboratory tests to expose threats to our health and the environment and to find solutions. Their research “brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know”. The mission of the EWG is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Before you slather on your sunscreen, check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2012 Sunscreen Guide and find out what their researchers are saying about sunscreens, SPF lip balms, SPF moisturizers and SPF makeups. 

EWG’s 6th annual Sunscreen Guide rates 257 brands and more than 1,800 products for sun protection.*

Top Sunscreens

The top-rated sunscreens in EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide contain the minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are the right choice for children, people with sensitive skin and others who want the best UVA protection without potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals like oxybenzone or vitamin A, which may be carcinogenic on sun-exposed skin. None are sprayed or powdered, so they don’t pose inhalation dangers.

EWG recommends that sunscreen users stay away from products that can be inhaled – sprays and powders – and use creams and lotions instead.

Here are some of the best from EWG’s list:

  • Badger Lightly Scented Lavender Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Badger Baby Sunscreen, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30+
  • California Baby Everyday/Year-round Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
  • California Baby No Fragrance Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
  • Coppertone Kids Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
  • Jason Natural Cosmetics Pure Natural Sun: Mineral Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Kiss My Face Kids 100% Natural Mineral Sunblock SunStick, Blue, SPF 30
  • Kiss My Face Kids 100% Natural Mineral Sunblock SunStick, Pink, SPF 30
  • Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30

Many brands formulate children’s sunscreens with safer, more effective ingredients than those in other products. About 63 percent of kids’ sunscreens contain effective mineral ingredients that provide good UVA protection, compared to 40 percent of other sunscreens.

Though you still need to read labels and use EWG’s Sunscreen Guide, chances are you’ll get a better sunscreen if you buy one marketed for kids. Still — buyer beware! There are still many children’s products that don’t meet the mark.

Compared to other sunscreens, those with the words “baby,” “children” or “kids” in the product name are less likely to contain:

Fragrances, which are mixtures of chemicals some of which may cause allergies and other serious health problems. Some 72 percent of kids’ sunscreens are fragrance-free, versus 54 percent of other sunscreens.

Oxybenzone, a hormone-disrupting chemical, is in 37 percent of kids’ sunscreens versus 56 percent of other sunscreens.

Here are some of the worst from EWG’s list:

  • Banana Boat Kids Quik Blok Sunblock Spray Lotion, SPF 35 – 4% oxybenzone
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+ – 6% oxybenzone
  • Banana Boat Baby Tear Free Sunblock Lotion, SPF 50+ – contains vitamin A (shown as “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol palmitate” on labels) which, when applied to sun-exposed skin, this common sunscreen additive may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies.
  • Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 – contains retinyl palmitate
  • Australian Gold Baby Formula Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50+ – contains retinyl palmitate
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Stick, SPF 70 – sky-high SPF products may protect from sunburn, caused primarily by UVB rays, but they leave children vulnerable to skin-damaging UVA rays.
  • CVS Kids Fast Cover Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 50 – aerosol spray sunscreen packages will soon be required to display FDA-mandated warnings such as “use in a well ventilated area” and “intentional misuse… can be harmful or fatal.” These cautions highlight growing concerns that sprays pose serious inhalation risks. Spray sunscreens also make it too easy to miss a spot, leaving bare skin exposed to harmful rays.
  • Rite Aid Baby Continuous Spray Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 – aerosol spray
  • GO!screen Natural Mineral PowderBlock Brush-On Sunscreen, SPF 30 is advertised as “great for kids” on the front of the bottle. It contains zinc oxide particles. Some brands of loose powder sunscreens contain particles of titanium dioxide, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” when inhaled. Powdered sunscreens may also contain nanoscale and micronized zinc oxide, which can cause lung inflammation and worse.

* Statistics throughout this report are based on products in the EWG database as of May 2012.

Source: EWG’s Sunscreen Guide

EWG’s Top Sun Safety Tips

  • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!
  • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start.
  • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.
  • Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

Read more at EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide and check out Sunscreens Exposed: Nine Surprising Truths.

Above all, do not be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is healthy for you and your family, just use some common sense and smart sun protection.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Environmental Working Group (EWG)

The Environmental Working Group’s team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers goes over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and their own laboratory tests to expose threats to our health and the environment and to find solutions. Their research “brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know”. The mission of the EWG is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher GabrielProgram. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Before you slather on your sunscreen, check out the Environmental Working Group’s(EWG) 2011 Sunscreen Guide. Find out what their researchers are saying about the sunscreens on the market last season.

EWG’s fifth annual Sunscreen Guide is their biggest and most fact-packed database of U.S. sun protection products ever – rating 292 brands and 1,700 products.*

The highlights:

More mineral sunscreens

Nearly 90 brands, including CVS, Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Walgreens and Aveeno now offer sunscreens with zinc and titanium. These are the right choice for children, people with sensitive skin and others who want the best UVA protection without potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals like oxybenzone or vitamin A, which may be carcinogenic on sun-exposed skin. None are sprayed or powdered, so they don’t pose inhalation dangers.

Red flags:

Poor UVA protection

Three of five U.S. sunscreens wouldn’t be acceptable in Europe. EWG’s analysis of more than 500 beach and sport sunscreens with SPF ratings of 30 and higher finds that more than 300 of them, about 60 percent, provide inadequate UVA protection and are too weak for the European market, where manufacturers voluntarily comply with a standard for meaningful UVA protection.

Risky vitamin A additives

Many sunscreen makers still use a form of vitamin A, called retinyl palmitate, ignoring recent scientific research by the federal Food and Drug Administration indicating the chemical may be photocarcinogenic – that it may heighten skin cancer risk when used on sun-exposed skin. While more definitive research is under way, EWG recommends that prudent consumers avoid vitamin A-laden sunscreens.

Sky-high SPF claims

About 1 in 6 beach and sport sunscreens claim SPFs greater than 50+, compared to 1 in 8 in 2009. Yet studies show that high-SPF users are exposed to as much or more ultraviolet rays than people who use lower SPF products. Why? Those big numbers give people a false sense of security. They wait too long before reapplying and stay out too long.

Still no federal sunscreen rules

The FDA declared its intent to regulate sunscreens back in 1978. The rules are still in bureaucratic limbo. While regulators delay, sunscreen makers can sell products that overstate sun protection and underperform in the real world. EWG continues to pressure the FDA to issue enforceable rules for sunscreen products.

*EWG’s Sunscreen Guide was updated with additional products on June 28, 2011. Statistics throughout this report are based on products in the database as of May 2011.

Source: EWG’s Sunscreen Guide

EWG’s Top Sun Safety Tips

  • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!
  • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start.
  • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.
  • Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

Read more at EWG’s 2011 Sunscreen Guide and check out their Hall of Shame to find the products you should definitely be avoiding.

We can also protect ourselves from the sun naturally by avoiding toxic chemicals in sunscreens, using natural ingredients and eating foods that protect against sun damage.

There has been an increase in awareness about the use of chemicals in personal care products and their effects. As a result, there has been more emphasis on researching natural substances. Much of the research only proves knowledge already known from generations past, but there are also very interesting new findings that prove the power of the natural world.

  • Green Tea polyphenols, a substance rich in antioxidants that forms part of the green tea leaves, has been mainstream news for awhile now. Research continues to be done today for using green tea for many conditions, including sun protection. (Yusuf et al.) Green tea high in polyphenols has shown to provide internal and external protection from UV radiation and in turn, photo aging.
  • Black tea gel, another ingredient more recently talked about, was studied for its absorption of ultraviolet rays. The study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (Dec. 2007) tested exposed skin of six subjects with an artificial source of UV light. Those participants with black tea gel on their skin were unaffected by the radiation, while the subjects with nothing on their skin started seeing reddening after four hours of exposure. (Turkoglu et al)
  • Broccoli extract has been studied extensively for its anti-cancerous effects as a food. A recent study has shown that applying broccoli extract topically, which is rich in an antioxidant ingredient called sulphoraphane, gave subjects protection against inflammation and redness caused by UV light. The research showed that instead of absorbing the radiation, the sulphoraphane penetrated the body and helped cells protect themselves against the damages of UV light, even three days after its application. (Talalay et al)

That is why the best kind of protection after all is what you put in your body. Foods like the ones mentioned above, like green tea and broccoli that have been proven to be anti-cancer, are a good start to add to any diet. If those are not to your liking, or you can’t get the kids to eat broccoli, maybe some pasta with tomato sauce will do. Studies have also been done on foods high in carotenoids, such as tomatoes. The research has shown that tomatoes cooked with olive oil, are said to release these carotenoids that can supply the body with some sun protection, what could be an SPF of 2 or 3. (Stahl W. et al)

Source: Natural Sun Protection: Research Shows Efficacy Using Natural Ingredients as Sunscreen

Above all, do not be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is incredibly healthy for you and your family, just use some common sense and smart sun protection!

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Body Smart Blog
Brought to you by the Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) — The Body Smart Blog is the place for people interested in early childhood education and development. You’ll find useful and interesting articles, interviews, activity ideas, book reviews and more — you never know what fun you’ll find at The Body Smart Blog.

One of my favorite articles: 5 Tips to “Green” Your Physical Activity


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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Before you slather on your sunscreen, check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2010 Sunscreen Guide. Find out why their researchers are only recommending 8 percent of the sunscreens on the market this season.

The fourth annual EWG’s Sunscreen Guide gives low marks to the current crop of sunscreen products, with a few notable exceptions. EWG researchers recommend only 39, or 8 percent, of 500 beach and sport sunscreens on the market this season.

The reason? A surge in exaggerated SPF claims above 50 and new disclosures about potentially hazardous ingredients, in particular recently developed government data linking vitamin A to accelerated growth of skin tumors and lesions.

Industry’s lackluster performance and the federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) failure to issue regulations for sunscreens lead EWG to warn consumers not to depend on any sunscreen for primary protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Hats, clothing and shade are still the most reliable sun protection available.

Source: EWG’s Sunscreen Guide

EWG’s Top Sun Safety Tips

  • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!
  • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start.
  • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.
  • Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

Read more at EWG’s 2010 Sunscreen Guide

We can also protect ourselves from the sun naturally by avoiding toxic chemicals in sunscreens, using natural ingredients and eating foods that protect against sun damage.

There has been an increase in awareness about the use of chemicals in personal care products and their effects. As a result, there has been more emphasis on researching natural substances. Much of the research only proves knowledge already known from generations past, but there are also very interesting new findings that prove the power of the natural world.

  • Green Tea polyphenols, a substance rich in antioxidants that forms part of the green tea leaves, has been mainstream news for awhile now. Research continues to be done today for using green tea for many conditions, including sun protection. (Yusuf et al.) Green tea high in polyphenols has shown to provide internal and external protection from UV radiation and in turn, photo aging.
  • Black tea gel, another ingredient more recently talked about, was studied for its absorption of ultraviolet rays. The study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (Dec. 2007) tested exposed skin of six subjects with an artificial source of UV light. Those participants with black tea gel on their skin were unaffected by the radiation, while the subjects with nothing on their skin started seeing reddening after four hours of exposure. (Turkoglu et al)
  • Broccoli extract has been studied extensively for its anti-cancerous effects as a food. A recent study has shown that applying broccoli extract topically, which is rich in an antioxidant ingredient called sulphoraphane, gave subjects protection against inflammation and redness caused by UV light. The research showed that instead of absorbing the radiation, the sulphoraphane penetrated the body and helped cells protect themselves against the damages of UV light, even three days after its application. (Talalay et al)

That is why the best kind of protection after all is what you put in your body. Foods like the ones mentioned above, like green tea and broccoli that have been proven to be anti-cancer, are a good start to add to any diet. If those are not to your liking, or you can’t get the kids to eat broccoli, maybe some pasta with tomato sauce will do. Studies have also been done on foods high in carotenoids, such as tomatoes. The research has shown that tomatoes cooked with olive oil, are said to release these carotenoids that can supply the body with some sun protection, what could be an SPF of 2 or 3. (Stahl W. et al)

Source: Natural Sun Protection: Research Shows Efficacy Using Natural Ingredients as Sunscreen

Above all, do not be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is incredibly healthy for you and your family, just use some common sense and smart sun protection!

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Body Smart Blog
Brought to you by the Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) — The Body Smart Blog is the place for people interested in early childhood education and development. You’ll find useful and interesting articles, interviews, activity ideas, book reviews and more — you never know what fun you’ll find at The Body Smart Blog.

One of my favorite articles: 5 Tips to “Green” Your Physical Activity

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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