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Clin Exp Dermatol. 2002 Nov;27(8):691-4.

Percutaneous absorption of benzophenone-3, a common component of topical sunscreens.

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Departments of Dermatology, and Clinical Chemistry, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden.


Benzophenone-3 (BZ-3) is a commonly used, chemical UV-absorber. It has been used for many years to protect against UV-radiation. Previous studies have shown that BZ-3 penetrates the skin, and it can be found in urine, faeces, and blood. In this study we examined the percutaneous absorption of BZ-3. The amount of BZ-3 absorbed was measured in urine, as experimental studies in the rat have shown that urine is the major route of excretion. Eleven volunteers applied the recommended amount of a commercially available sunscreen and urine samples were collected during a 48-h period after application. The average total amount excreted was 11 mg, median 9.8 mg, which is approximately 0.4% of the applied amount of BZ-3. Some of the volunteers still excreted BZ-3 48 h after application. It is evident that BZ-3 undergoes conjugation in the body to make it water soluble. However, we do not know at what age the ability to conjugate is fully developed, and therefore for children physical filters such as titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide might still be considered a more appropriate sunscreen component.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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