HOUSTON – A recent report says dozens of popular sunscreens contain a chemical called benzene.
Benzene is not a normal ingredient in sunscreen. The group that did the testing, Valisure, says it’s in 78 different products and it is linked to cancer.
In 2019, a different study made headlines claiming sunscreen is absorbed into the bloodstream. In general, that didn’t alarm too many doctors since the benefits of protecting you from skin cancer outweigh the risk of potentially absorbing sunscreen ingredients.
However, Dr. Matthew Wilber, a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Pediatrics, said benzene is bad.
“Benzene is such a toxic chemical, it shouldn’t be in our environment at all,” Dr. Wilber said.
In fact, almost every health governing body including, OSHA, EPA, and FDA are all on board with extensive limitations of the chemical because of its unacceptable toxicity. Yet, they fall short of specifically defining the limits in products like sunscreen where it’s not an ingredient.
So why, according to Valisure, do products like Neutrogena, Walgreens, CVS, Banana Boat and Sun Bum have 7,000 times above the recommended limit?
The advocating council released the following statement regarding the findings:
“The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are firmly committed to ensuring consumers have access to cosmetics and personal care products with ingredients that have been thoroughly tested for safety and follow the requirements of the law. There is nothing more important than safety. If our consumers can’t believe in a product or rely on it to do what it says, then nothing else matters. We are aware of the study reporting the presence of benzene in some of the sunscreen products tested.”
Wilber still recommends using sunscreen to protect against skin cancer, burns, and wrinkles.
“I would not change the way that I use sunscreen. I would continue to use sunscreen on myself and my kids even with this knowledge,” Wilber said.
However, should you choose to avoid these products, the full list is below.
There are the 78 products Valisure found to have benzene, which they said was 27% of the total amount of products tested.