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Benzene Detected in Some Well-Known Brands of Sunscreen

Published on September 14th, 2021 by Andrew Hughes

In May of 2021 the product testing company Valisure discovered toxic levels of benzene in certain brands of sunscreen. Benzene is a known carcinogen that can be absorbed through the skin. So the fact that people frequently, regularly and purposefully sprayed benzene-tainted sunscreens on their skin – and the skin of their children – is particularly troubling. Our medical experts believe that there is no “safe level” of benzene exposure.

Which Sunscreen Brands Contained Benzene?

Valisure analyzed nearly 300 batches of sunscreen products from 69 sunscreens, after sun gels, and lotions. Of those tested, more than 25% contained detectable levels of benzene. More importantly, 10 spray sunscreens, 2 aerosol after sun products, and 2 other after sun gels contained elevated levels of benzene.

The 10 spray sunscreens with elevated benzene levels were Neutrogena brand, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Most of the Neutrogena products were high SPF offerings (50-100+). The 2 aerosol after sun gels were sold under the CVS brand label. The rub on gels were Sun Burn’s Cool Down Gel and Fruit of the Earth’s Aloe Vera Gel. Another 26 products contained detectable levels of benzene. We anticipate that the manufacturers of all benzene-tainted products will be defendants in the litigation.

A complete list of the benzene containing sunscreen products can be found on pages 12-15 of this document.

Can The Benzene In Sunscreen Cause Leukemia?

Valisure wrote a letter to the FDA requesting a recall of the products that contained elevated benzene levels (more than 2 ppm). Valisure suggested that all products with detectable levels (more than .1 ppm) should be studied. Dr. Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, had this to say, “there is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in sunscreen products,… even benzene at 0.1 ppm in a sunscreen could expose people to excessively high nanogram amounts of benzene.”

We believe that in certain cases, we will be able to link someone’s use of sunscreen products to their resulting leukemia. Prolonged exposure to benzene causes acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Benzene is also strongly linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma (MM), aplastic anemia, and other blood and bone cancers. Benzene should be avoided whenever possible. The connection between benzene and cancer has been acknowledged by entities involved in the production of benzene. The American Petroleum Institute admitted that there is no safe level of benzene exposure…in 1948!

Contact 1-800-BENZENE For Further Information

Not everyone who has used these sunscreen products will have a case. You can learn more about who might qualify here. Sunscreen manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson will deny responsibility. Our attorneys have experience proving up the link between benzene and leukemia. If you or a loved one frequently used Neutrogena or CVS sunscreens and has been diagnosed with a blood or bone cancer, please call 1-800-BENZENE. Speak with an experienced benzene lawyer without cost or obligation.

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