The Extremely Dangerous Repercussions of Benzene Exposure

Benzene is a chemical widely used in many products throughout the United States. Various industries use benzene to make other chemicals, including chemicals used to make plastics, nylon and synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and more. Recently, it was discovered that certain sunscreens also contained unsafe levels of benzene. Here, we want to discuss the repercussions of benzene exposure on the human body.


What is Benzene and Why is it Dangerous for Consumers?

When we look at data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we see that benzene is a known cancer-causing carcinogen in humans. This chemical can lead to cancer because it causes the cells in our body to malfunction. Benzene exposure can lead to bone marrow not producing enough red blood cells, which can cause anemia. This chemical can also damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing a loss of white blood cells.

Recent Benzene Sunscreen Recalls

In May of 2021, the independent testing lab Valisure detected unsafe levels of benzene in various brands of sunscreen, as well as other types of after-sun care products. Valisure released a statement at the time that said:

“Being that many of the tested sunscreen and after-sun care products did not contain detectable levels of benzene, it does not appear that benzene use is unavoidable for their manufacture…therefore, any significant detection of benzene should be deemed unacceptable.”

Linking Benzene to Sunscreen

Benzene is a naturally-forming chemical, and it is regularly used to create various substances in the US. This includes detergents, pesticides, plastics, dyes, medications, and more. However, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has said that benzene can increase the risk of cancer, and researchers have found a possible link between benzene and the following illnesses:

  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

Which Sunscreens Are Affected?

There are many sunscreens and after-sun care products available to shoppers, so it is important to understand which products could possibly contain benzene. Testing company Valisure has stated that the following manufacturers and the sunscreens could contain benzene:

    • Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Babyganics Kid’s Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 50
    • Banana Boat Kids’ Max Protect & Play Sunscreen, SPF 100
    • Banana Boat Kids’ Sport Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 50
    • Banana Boat Protective Dry Oil Clear Sunscreen Spray with Coconut Oil, SPF 15
    • Banana Boat Simply Protect Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50+
    • Banana Boat Ultra Defense Ultra Mist Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
    • Banana Boat Ultra Mist Deep Tanning Oil Continuous Clear, Spray SPF4
    • Banana Boat Ultra Sport Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
    • Coppertone Whipped Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 50
    • CVS Health 70 Beach Guard Sun Sunscreen, SPF 70 (Lotion)
    • CVS Health After-sun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
    • CVS Health After-sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray
    • CVS Health Sheer Mist Spray Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Continuous Spray

Sunscreen, SPF 70

  • CVS Health Sport Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+
  • CVS Health Ulta Sheer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • CVS Health Lotion Ultra Sheer Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 45
  • EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum Full-Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 45
  • Equate Lotion Kids Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
  • Ethical Zinc Natural Clear Zinc Sunscreen, SPF 50+
  • Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel
  • Goodsense Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 60
  • Live Better by CVS Health Body Mineral Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
  • Max Block Sport Sunscreen Lotion Water Resistance Blue, 30 SPF
  • Max Block Sunscreen Lotion 4 Fl Oz Broad Spectrum Water Resistant, SPF 30
  • Neutrogena Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • Neutrogena Beach Defense Spray Body Sunscreen, SPF 50
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50 and SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 60+
  • Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Face Sunscreen, SPF 50
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 30 Spray
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 45 Lotion
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • Raw Elements Eco Formula Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 (both tin and tube)
  • Solimo Sheer Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55
  • Sun Bum After Sun Cool Down Aloe Vera Spray
  • Sun Bum Cool Down Gel
  • Sun Bum Oxy Free Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
  • SunBurnt Advanced After-Sun Gel
  • TopCare Everyday Lotion Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
  • TopCare Everyday Lotion Ultimate Sheer Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 55 and SPF 70
  • Up & Up Clear Aloe Vera Gel
  • Walgreens After Sun Gel
  • Walgreens Sport Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50
  • Walgreens Sunscreen Sport, SPF 50