Pharmaceutical testing company Valisure has asked the FDA to recall 40 different lots of sun products from 10 different brands after benzene, a carcinogen, was found in the formulas.
Valisure is an independent pharmaceutical testing company that has recently caused a lot of controversy in the skincare community.
They released a study which found that 78 lots of sunscreens and sun care products contained benzene, a known carcinogen that has been linked to blood cancer and other illnesses.
Of the 78 batches with detectable levels, 40 products were found to have “significantly detected” levels of benzene.
Valisure founder David Light said ‘the problem doesn’t seem to be rooted in a particular brand of sunscreen, but in certain batches or “lots” produced’.
He added that some batches and products from a single brand had high levels of benzene, where other batches and products from the same brand don’t have any.
“It really does appear to be a batch to batch problem,” Light says.
You can find details of the report here.
Although we know that many things are carcinogenic, benzene is particularly potent. There is no safe amount of benzene in any product, according to the FDA, which refers to it as a Class 1 Solvent.
What’s more concerning is that benzene is not needed for sunscreen production, making this a contamination issue.
Of the 294 batches of sun products tested, 26 had benzene levels lower than 2 ppm and 14 had levels containing 2 ppm or more — up to three times the FDA conditional amount, according to Dermatology Times.
Some of the products included in the report include:
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70 and SPF 100+
- Neutrogena Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
- Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel
- Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen C-Spray, SPF 100
- EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum Fully-Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 45
- Sun Bum Cool Down Gel
- Raw Elements Eco Formula Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- CVS Health After-sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray
- Goodsense Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
If you have any of these products, it would be advisable to discontinue use.
This is not to demonise sunscreen but to highlight these particular products and batches, which could contain benzene.
Not all products made by these brands had detectable levels of benzene. If you own sun products produced by one of the brands above, check tables 2 and 3 in Valisure’s petition to the FDA, as well as the lot number on the product itself.