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13 Worst-Rated Sunscreens for Kids
Applying a safe, effective sunscreen to children is one key to protecting them from sun damage. Sunscreen should never be your child's first line of defense against the sun, of course, and the reality is that some products fall short.
Here's what to avoid:
- Spray sunscreens. These products can be inhaled and may not cover skin completely.
- SPF values above 50+. Products touting high SPF values try to trick you into believing they'll prevent sun damage. Don't trust them. SPFs of 30 to 50 are enough for even very pale skin.
- Oxybenzone. This common sunscreen ingredient has been linked to hormone system disruption.
- Retinyl palmitate. This ingredient may actually trigger damage to sun-exposed skin.
Each of these products has at least three strikes against it: sky-high SPFs and the potentially harmful ingredients oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Four are aerosol sprays that can harm sensitive young lungs.
Keep these 13 sunscreens out of your shopping cart.
EWG's 2016 Guide to Sunscreens also lists the best-scoring sunscreens for kids.
Remember: It takes only a few blistering sunburns during childhood to double a person's lifetime chance of developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. The best defenses against getting too much harmful UV radiation are protective clothing, shade and timing. Practice these sun safety habits to keep your children safe in the sun:
- Cover up. Wide-brimmed hats or visors and loose-fitting shirts, shorts and pants block harmful UV rays.
- Wear sunglasses. A good pair will help shield eyes from the UV radiation that causes cataracts.
- Stay in the shade. Whenever kids are outdoors, keep them in the shade as much as possible. Keep infants under six months out of direct sun.
- Schedule outdoor time. Go outdoors in early morning and late afternoon, when the sun is lower.
Want more tips? Visit EWG's Sun Safety Campaign.
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If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.
"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›