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Parliamentary questions
24 May 2012
E-005253/2012
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sergio Paolo Frances Silvestris (PPE)

 Subject: Sun creams and the development of endometriosis
 Answer(s) 

It is possible that there is a link between chemicals contained in some sun creams and the development of endometriosis, which suggests using certain products with caution.

The interaction between chemicals and health has always been debated and, although it is well known that all chemicals have an impact on the body, nobody can yet confirm with certainty whether chemicals used in the production of cosmetics and sun creams have a negative impact. A study analysed the urine of 625 women diagnosed with endometriosis. The analysis showed that these women had higher levels of chemicals used in the manufacture of sunscreens. The study therefore suggests that there may be a correlation between the absorption of certain chemicals and the risk of endometriosis, a disorder that affects the uterus and causes not only pain, but can also lead to infertility in women.

The chemicals used in sunscreens are known as benzophenone-type UV filters which aim to protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, although they mimic the effects of oestrogen hormones.

In view of the above, can the Commission state:

1. whether it is aware of the new study on the possible effects of chemical substances contained in sun creams;
2. given the need for further research focusing on the possible risks resulting from absorption of certain chemicals, whether it will fund the above‑mentioned research;
3. given the extensive interest demonstrated by the European Union in protecting consumer health and safety, whether it considers it necessary to closely examine the research in question and, in the case of negative results, to take further steps to have the authorisation for sale of these products withdrawn?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 173 E, 19/06/2013
Last updated: 12 June 2012Legal notice