Check Your Sunscreen! Study Says Yours May Contain a Carcinogen
This is not how we wanted to kick off the summer.
The warm months are finally here. For so many of us that means being outdoors soaking up the sun. It's what we love about the season and with such a focus on our immune systems in the last year, getting the Vitamin D that the sun provides is an added bonus. Vitamin D has a tremendous effect on our body's ability to keep us healthy.
That being said, make sure you lather on the sunscreen. Sunscreen protects you from the harm the sun can do to your skin. Decreasing your risk of skin cancer is one of many reasons to protect your skin and it can also help prevent your skin from premature aging.
According to a lab called Valisure, you'll need to choose your protections carefully.
The independent lab has issued a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recall more than 70 sunscreen and after-sun products. While testing nearly 300 various sun care products, they found that 27 percent of them contained benzene. This compound has been declared a carcinogen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and can cause cancer in humans.
I don't believe you will find benzene in the list of ingredients on the packaging, since it would have never made it to the shelf like that, but you will want to check the list of products found in Valisure's petition.
The list of sun products containing benzene starts on page 12.
Looking at the list, there are some well-known brands. Neutrogena, Sun Bum, CVS, Walgreens, Equate, Elta MD, Banana Boat, La Roche-Posay and more. The list contains all the information you need including brand, product name, product numbers and even the consistency of the product. Most products are either a spray or a lotion.
From what I understand, this is most likely just a bad batch. I don't think you need to panic if you have used one of these products for most of your life. At the time of writing this, the FDA has not issued a formal recall, but that could change. I say it never hurts to play it safe.
According to CBS News, Johnson & Johnson, a big maker of sun care products, has stated that benzene is not an ingredient they use in any of their products.