Independent pharmaceutical testing company Valisure has revealed that 78 lots of sunscreen and sun care products contained benzene, which is a known carcinogen that has been linked to blood cancer and other illnesses.
According to CNET.com, of the 78 batches with detectable levels, 40 products were found to have “significantly detected” levels of benzene.
The issue doesn’t appear to be rooted in one particular brand of sunscreen, but in certain batches or lots that were produced, the lab’s founder said, adding that some brands have very high levels in some of their products, while others are completely clean. The findings are detailed in Valisure’s May 24 petition to the U.S. to recall the product lots that contain dangerous amounts of benzene.
Valisure tested 294 sunscreen product lots from 69 different brands. The lab is asking the FDA to recall lots from the following brands: Neutrogena, Sun Bum, CVS Health, Fruit of the Earth, Raw Elements, SunBurnt, Goodsense, Banana Boat, TopCare Everyday, and EltaMD.
Why is Benzene Dangerous?
Benzene is an industrial chemical that is normally found in crude oil and cigarette smoke. It is also used in making plastic and pesticides. Benzene is a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) that can cause harm with long-term exposure, which the Centers for Disease Control defines as “exposure for more than one year.”
Benzene exposure has been linked to blood cancer or leukemia, anemia (decrease in red blood cells), excessive bleeding, and decreased ovary size. But, benzene is not necessary for sunscreen production. Therefore, researchers say there is no safe level of benzene in sunscreen products.
Valisure researchers say that even benzene at 0.1 parts per million (ppm) in sunscreen could expose people to excessively high amounts of the carcinogen. They also say the benzene in the sunscreen is likely occurring due to contamination. Benzene is a contaminant in the petroleum industry and there are a number of petroleum products that make their way into cosmetics, lotions, and creams. Researchers say people should not stop using sunscreen because of this issue.
Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has suffered health effects as a result of using these or other products, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced product defect attorney can help guide you through the process and help you receive maximum compensation for your tremendous losses.