Memorial Day is barely over and summer's not even officially here yet -- but the sounds of summer are already all around you.
There's the crack of a ball off a baseball bat... the hiss of a steak when it first hits the grill... and the yammer of the halfwits who won't shut up about sunscreen.
Open the papers or turn on the TV and you've probably already seen the annual Chicken Little act well under way. Those clowns act as if you'll burn to a crisp if you dare to set foot outside your home without first marinating yourself in a thick layer of chemical crud.
But before you even consider coating your own tender flesh with that goo, there's something you need to know: The sun won't cause cancer... but that SUNSCREEN sure will!
It's not just me saying it anymore. Environmental Working Group says four out of five sunscreens contain dangerous chemicals or untrue claims about their so-called protection.
One common ingredient, retinyl palmitate, is a form of vitamin A that must've sounded like a good idea at the time. Vitamin A is good for the skin, right?
Not this stuff!
You couldn't put a worse ingredient in a sunscreen if you tried, because retinyl palmitate can actually ACCELERATE the growth of skin tumors, especially when exposed to UV light.
Another, oxybenzone, is a known endocrine disrupter that can screw with your sex life and mess with the development of children.
If there's any good news, it's that my message is finally getting out. Americans are now rejecting sunscreen en masse, with just 14 percent of men and 30 percent of women saying they use it regularly before they go out, according to a new survey.
I'm not usually the "go with the flow" type, but in this case Mr. and Mrs. Average have it exactly right.
EWG has a list of supposedly "safe" sunscreens, but why would you need to screen the sun anyway? It's vital to your health and LACK of sun can promote everything from cancer to heart disease.
The only protection from the sun you really need is a little common sense: Seek shade when you start to turn pink.