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Benzene Found In Popular Sunscreen Brands

Earlier this summer, Valisure, released a bombshell study showing that many popular brands of sunscreen contain varying levels of the carcinogen, benzene.

In response to this study, major household product producing company, Johnson & Johnson has pulled five of its aerosol sunscreens—Invisible Daily Defense, Ultra Sheer, Beach Defense, Cool Dry Sport, and Aveeno Protect + Refinish—from the shelves of stores after these products were found to contain a chemical known as benzene. Johnson & Johnson is not the only major manufacturer to have benzene found in their products. An exhaustive list produced from the testing study can be found here on pages 12-15. Other major brand names include but are not limited to Walgreens, CVS Health and Banana Boat.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has listed benzene as a Class 1 solvent meaning  it “should not be employed in the manufacture of drug substances, excipients, and drug products because of their unacceptable toxicity or their deleterious environmental effect.” On the same guidance document, the FDA says if it is impossible to avoid the use of benzene in a product, it should not amount to greater than 2 parts per million (ppm) in solution. Of the products listed in the testing study above, 14 products contain > 2ppm of benzene, 12 of which are sprays, and Neutrogena being the brand responsible for 10 of the 14 products.

What is Benzene?

Exposure to benzene can have acute (short-term) and long-term health consequences due to exposure. Short-term exposure includes but is not limited to headaches, confusion, irregular heartbeat, tremors, convulsions or death. Long-term includes leukemia, anemia, bone marrow health issues, specifically in women, irregular menstrual cycles and decreased ovary size, specifically in men, reduced fertility. As a result of this evidence, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified benzene as a known human carcinogen.

Sunscreen is a product that is meant to protect people against the harmful effects of UV radiation. However, many popular sunscreen brands such as Neutrogena have products that contain a cancerous chemical. Recent testing shows that a known carcinogen, Benzene, was found in many popular sunscreen brands. A carcinogen is a chemical that causes cancer in living tissue. While independent labs have asked the FDA to recall sunscreens containing Benzene, large sunscreen producers such as Neutrogena, CVS, and Sun Bum insist that their products are safe.

While sunscreen is generally safe to use, it is important to understand the ongoing risk posed by certain products of these companies. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+ and Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70 were among 14 products Valisure claims have some of the highest levels of benzene tested. Benzene is not a chemical that is normally found in sunscreen, even in small traces. Benzene is a chemical that is commonly found in glue, gasoline, adhesives, and cleaning products.

Benzene is one of the most commonly used chemicals in the United States. It is currently found in products like detergents, drugs, pesticides, lubricants, and plastics, and previously found in industrial solvents..

Many lawsuits across the country have already been filed due to benzene exposure, including cases where settlements and/or verdicts of multiple millions of dollars have been reached. Our attorneys at Forester Haynie are currently investigating these claims. If you or a loved one have been affected by this ongoing problem, please contact us today.

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