Look Out for a Bad Batch of Sunscreen

Actually, 78 product batches is more like it. That is what Valisure, a pharmacy that tests medications and supplements for safety, has reported in their petition to the FDA.

Valisure tested 294 batches of sunscreen and sun-care products from 69 brands. Their results pointed to 78 product batches with detectable levels of benzene. 14 batches even had levels higher than the FDA’s conditional restriction on benzene set at 2 parts per million.

Benzene is a widely used chemical commonly found in gasoline and cigarette smoke. It is also a known human carcinogen. According to the CDC, long-term exposure to benzene can cause leukemia and blood cancer.

Valisure’s petition included 13 requests. Most notably, 1) recall the sunscreen batches that tested positive for benzene, 2) open an investigation into the manufacturers and their manufacturing processes, and 3) better define limits for benzene contamination in drug and cosmetic products.

Before your next day in the sun, check to see if your sunscreen is on Valisure’s list (check table 2 & 3). If it is, replace it immediately with a sunscreen not on that list.