An independent lab that tests the quality of medications and health products recently found that many sunscreens sold on the market are contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical called benzene. After testing almost 300 unique batches of commercial sunscreens, Valisure discovered that 27 percent contained detectable levels of the toxic chemical while five percent contained levels that exceeded the limit recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This has led the online pharmacy to file a petition for these products to be removed from market shelves.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), benzene is widely used in the United States and ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume. While it is present in outdoor air, indoor air has been found to contain higher benzene levels. Common indoor sources of benzene include cleaning products, glues, paints, furniture wax and detergents. Benzene in outdoor air comes mainly from vehicle exhaust, gasoline fumes, industrial emissions and cigarette smoke.
Animal and human studies link benzene to an increased risk of leukemia. In particular, researchers have found high rates of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) among workers exposed to high levels of industrial benzene. AML is a rapidly progressing disease that affects a group of white blood cells called myeloid cells. These cells originate in the bone marrow and develop into different types of blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.Cancer-causing chemical detected in 78 sunscreens, FDA petitioned to recall contaminated products – Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD