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FDA Petitioned to Recall Products Containing Benzene 

Benzene

Benzene is a light yellow and colorless chemical. It’s mainly used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and is both natural and man-made. [1]

Benzene is also known to cause cancer in humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies benzene as a group 1 carcinogen. This means that there is strong evidence linking benzene to DNA damage that causes cancer in humans. The FDA also classifies benzene as a category 1, meaning it should not be used in drugs or drug products. [2]

Recall

On May 24, 2021, Valisure issued a petition to the FDA calling on the agency to recall batches of sunscreen and after-sun care products it identified as having levels of benzene that put human health at risk.

Exposure 

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), exposure to benzene can occur through inhalation, absorption through the skin, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact.

Brands Involved 

The different name brands involved are:

  • Aveeno
  • Babyganics
  • Banana Boat
  • CVS Health
  • EltaMD
  • Equate
  • Ethical Zinc
  • Fruit of the Earth
  • LaRoche-Posay
  • Live Better by CVS Health
  • Max Block
  • Neutrogena
  • Raw Elements
  • Sun Bum
  • TopCare Everyday
  • Walgreen’s

Causal Links to Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, “Rates of leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML), have been found to be higher in studies of workers exposed to high levels of benzene, such as those in the chemical, shoemaking, and oil refining industries.”

Human studies and animal lab tests have confirmed that benzene causes cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the link between benzene and leukemia and other blood cancers is especially strong.

Research has found a possible link between benzene and various types of cancer [3] , including:

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

Citations:

[1] Clarissa Vanner, https://www.activebeat.com/your-health/benzene-sunscreen-recall-2021-things-to-know-why-consumers-are-concerned/

[2] Id.

[3] https://justicecounts.com/benzene-sunscreen-lawsuit/

 

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