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February 24th, 2010
People who use a lot of sunscreen could be at risk of having "larger than normal" quantities of zinc in their bloodstream, with new evidence showing zinc particles penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the body.
Geochemist Brian Gulson, of Sydney's Macquarie University, has provided the first conclusive evidence that zinc oxide nanoparticles - which appear in many translucent sunscreens - can be absorbed by the body and remain there for extended periods of time.
There is no conclusive evidence on what impact zinc nanoparticles have on the body's cells or immune system.
However, long-term exposure to high levels of zinc can cause copper deficiency, which slows the body's vital enzyme processes.
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