In May 2021, an independent lab (Valisure) evaluated nearly 300 sunscreens and after-sun products and found that 78 of them (27%) contained benzene, a toxic chemical and known carcinogen. Spray-on products stood out the most.
Benzene is a colorless, liquid chemical compound that occurs naturally and through manmade means. It is among the 20 most widely used industrial chemicals in the United States for products such as plastics, synthetic fibers, lubricants, detergents, and dyes. It’s also prominent in the rubber and oil industries.
Repeated exposure to benzene may cause leukemia and other blood disorders, as benzene attacks red blood cells produced by the body’s bone marrow.
Exposure to benzene can occur in several ways:
- 1) inhalation;
- 2) absorption through the skin;
- 3) ingestion.
Companies might not knowingly add benzene to sunscreens, but they are not legally required to test for it either. Bottom line, benzene should not be present in personal-care products. Manufacturers have a duty of care to consumers.
There are certain exceptions for which the FDA allows a restricted concentration limit for benzene of 2 parts per million. Sunscreens are not among the exceptions, yet some registered at over three times that amount. Seventy-three percent of sunscreens in the Valisure testing did not have detectable amounts of benzene, proving that its presence can be avoided. To receive rightful compensation, an injured plaintiff will need to show that the sunscreen was defective, they suffered personal injury, the defective sunscreen was linked to their injury, and they used the product correctly.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you believe you or a family member has suffered injury (or death) due to benzene, contact our firm for trusted guidance. Call Jason Schultz at (404) 474-0804 or fill out a contact form here to request a consultation.