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Study finds cancer-causing chemical in 78 sunscreens

Sun Protection
Posted at 10:18 AM, Jun 03, 2021

An independent pharmacy and lab conducted a study of sunscreens and detected high levels of benzene, a chemical known to cause leukemia, in 78 of the product batches.

Valisure also tested after-sun care products and found benzene is some of those as well. According to the company's findings, 294 unique batches from 69 brands of sunscreen and after-sun products were tested.

List of products where benzene was detected

According to the company's press release, benzene is listed as a known carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH lists “inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact” as exposure routes.

Valisure says 27% of samples tested contained detectable benzene and some batches contained up to three times the conditionally restricted FDA concentration limit of two parts per million (ppm).

List of products where benzene was not detected

The company is asking for a recall of the contaminated batches and is asking the FDA to better define limits for benzene contamination in drug and cosmetic products.

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