Independent testing laboratories detected benzene, a human carcinogen, in 1978. Sunscreen It is a product and is currently seeking a product recall from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Valisure Lab checks the quality of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Recently, the company tested nearly 300 sunscreen products and found that 27% contained benzene. According to the company’s announcement. 14 Products (5%) contained levels of benzene in excess of 2 parts per million (ppm). This is the FDA’s recommended limit for benzene in medically valuable medicines that cannot be manufactured without benzene.
“The inclusion of this known human carcinogen in products that are widely recommended for prevention Skin cancer And it’s very annoying for adults and children to use it on a regular basis, “said David Light, founder and CEO of Valisure, in a statement.
Benzene is a colorless or pale yellow liquid that is naturally produced, but is also produced by human activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)For example, the combustion of automobile exhaust, coal and petroleum can release benzene into the air. According to the CDC, the chemical is also used in the production of some plastics, rubbers, dyes, detergents, chemicals and pesticides.
Exposure to high levels of benzene causes cancer in humans, especially blood cancers. leukemiaThe US Occupational Safety and Health Administration limits workplace exposure to benzene in the air on average 1 ppm daily and up to 5 ppm over 15 minutes. According to the American Cancer SocietyThe Environmental Protection Agency limits benzene in drinking water to 0.005 ppm, or 5 ppb. This is also a limitation of bottled water.
The FDA states that benzene should not be used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals except in special circumstances. Especially unless its use is unavoidable and the drug makes significant therapeutic advances. In such cases, the benzene level should be limited to 2 ppm “unless there is a specific reason”. FDA saysWhen the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was a shortage of hand sanitizers, FDA temporarily permits Hand sanitizer containing benzene up to 2ppm.However, in March 2021, Valisure Benzene above this level was detected Nearly 20 hand sanitizer products, at least one Recollected later..
In light of the new discovery of benzene in sunscreens, Valisure Petitioned to the FDA 78 Recall products and conduct your own research on the manufacture of these products. A complete list of sunscreen products containing benzene can be found on the petition. Almost all 14 sunscreen products with benzene levels above 2 ppm were sprays. However, the chemicals also appeared in lotions and sunscreen gels.
The FDA states that benzene should not be used in the manufacture of medicines, but the FDA does not define specific restrictions on medicines such as sunscreens (the FDA regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter medicines). ). The 2 ppm limit applies only to “special circumstances” outlined by the agency. That’s why Valisure requires the FDA to set limits on benzene levels in sunscreens and other medicines under standard circumstances, and to set limits on daily exposure.
Benzene was not detected in most sunscreens tested by Valisure, so the company is not “unavoidable” to use benzene in sunscreens, and detectable amounts of chemicals should be allowed. is not it.
In a statement, Dr. Christopher Banick, an associate professor of dermatology at Yale University, said, “It is important for regulators to deal with benzene contamination in sunscreens.
In a statement provided to Live Science, the FDA said it was reviewing the petition. “The FDA takes the safety concerns raised about our regulated products, including sunscreens, seriously. Authorities evaluate citizens’ petition submitted, while US consumers are safe. We will continue to monitor the sunscreen market and manufacturing efforts to ensure that sunscreens are available, “said the statement. The agency added that it would not normally comment on pending petitions.
The results of this study do not mean that you should stop using sunscreens that help prevent skin cancer.
Many sunscreen products tested by Valisure were free of benzene contamination. These products are probably safe and should continue to be used with suitable hats and sun protection clothing to reduce the risk of skin cancer. “
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comments from the FDA.
Originally published in Live Science.
Carcinogens in 78 sunscreen products
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