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Lululemon criticized for anti-sunscreen slogan on company bags

Photo courtesy: m01229/Flickr

Photo courtesy: m01229/Flickr

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 5:49 PM -

Summer means more time outdoors -- and with cases of skin cancer on the rise, sunscreen should be a must. But not everyone has gotten the message. 

Earlier this month, athletic apparel manufacturer Lululemon has come under fire for an anti-suncreen slogan that's printed on some of the company's bags. 

According to CTV the bags in question suggest that sunscreen could be a health hazard. They have been used by the company off and on since 2011.

SEE ALSO: Company claims to have developed drinkable sunscreen

“Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine,” the slogan reads.

Health officials would disagree.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society the best defense against skin cancer is sunscreen. A report published by the society in May is forecasting over 80,000 skin cancer cases in Canada this year, which is nearly the same number of cases of the top four cancers combined: lung, breast, prostate and colorectal.

Lululemon has issued a statement about the controversial bags, describing the numerous slogans printed on them as a "collection of statements that are ever-evolving and intended to spark conversation" while acknowledging that the sunscreen slogan "is not research-based."  

While it's unlikely that many people will take health advice from a nylon bag, some say the slogan helps to downplay the importance of sunscreen.

PROTECT YOURSELF: Cases of skin cancer in Canada on the rise

"Getting outside in the summer is one of the best things we can do for our mental health," writes Weather Network meteorologist Gina Ressler, "but spending long hours in the sunshine is not without its risks ... the number one risk factor for developing skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation – and it’s entirely preventable ... do yourself and your family a favour, and make sun protection a priority."

For what it's worth, some of the slogans on Lululemon bags could be interpreted as good health advice.

Some versions of the totes suggest "drinking fresh water" and "breath[ing] deeply" -- two things that we can all pretty much agree on.


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