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Testing Reveals Benzene in Sunscreen

Published on October 5th, 2021 by Andrew Hughes

In May of 2021, the testing company Valisure discovered that many popular brands of sunscreen contained benzene. Most people had likely never heard of benzene. Benzene is a “known carcinogen”, having been linked to various blood and bone marrow cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Benzene can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, making its presence in sunscreen products particularly dangerous.

Which Sunscreen Brands Contained Benzene?

More than 25% of the nearly 300 batches of sunscreen products and after sun gels tested contained some benzene. Of those, many were above the 2 parts per million (ppm) limit set by the Food and Drug Administration. Those products are:

  • Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+

  • Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70

  • Sun Burn – Cool Down Gel

  • Neutrogena – Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100

  • CVS Health – After-sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray

  • Neutrogena – Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 60+

  • Neutrogena – Beach Defense Spray Body Sunscreen, SPF 50

  • Fruit of the Earth – Aloe Vera Gel

No Safe Level of Benzene Exposure

In addition to the above, additional brands of sunscreen contained less than 2ppm of benzene, but still had measurable levels of benzene. This is important because there is no safe level of benzene exposure. The American Petroleum Institute admitted this fact in 1948. Benzene exposures should be limited whenever possible. The following sunscreen brands were found to contain more than .1 ppm benzene:

  • Neutrogena – Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60+ (duplicate of 2ppm)

  • Raw Elements – Eco Formula Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

  • CVS Health – After-sun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel

  • SunBurnt – Advanced After-Sun Gel

  • Goodsense – Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

  • Neutrogena – CoolDry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70

  • Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 30 Spray

  • Banana Boat – Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen C-Spray, SPF 100

  • Banana Boat – UltraMist Deep Tanning Dry Oil Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 4

  • Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 45

  • Banana Boat – Ultra Sport Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100

  • Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 70

  • Neutrogena – CoolDry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50

  • TopCare Everyday – Ultimate Sheer Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70

  • EltaMD – UV Aero Broad Spectrum Full-Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 45

Numerous Sunscreens Recalled from Market

While the Valisure study did not indicate that Coppertone sunscreens contained benzene, Coppertone subsequently did its own testing and issued a recall of the following products:

  • Coppertone Pure & Simple SPF 50,

  • Coppertone Pure & Simple Kinds SPF 50,

  • Coppertone Pure & Simply Baby SPF 50,

  • Coppertone Sport Mineral SPF 50,

  • Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 50.

Numerous other manufacturers have issued recalls as well, including Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens. If you or a loved one regularly used benzene-containing sunscreens and have been diagnosed with a blood or bone cancer like AML, MDS, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), or multiple myeloma (MM), please call 1-800-BENZENE and speak to a lawyer today.

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