People can continue using mineral-based aerosol sunscreens without fear of exposure to dangerous levels of nanoparticles or other respirable particulates, according to Penn State research published in the journal Aerosol Science and Engineering.
The findings, reported by a research team led by Jeremy Gernand, associate professor of industrial health and safety, are a result of experiments conducted using three aerosol sunscreens commonly found on store shelves.
Gernand’s team simulated the application process for someone using the recommended amount of sunscreen and analyzed the released aerosols. They chose mineral-based sunscreens with silicon dioxide, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient over chemical-based sunscreens because those are more commonly recommended for children and the ingredients are deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We simulated what we considered to be a worst-case scenario for someone being exposed to aerosolized nanoparticles while applying sunscreen, and that scenario is