In 2021 just before Memorial Day, online pharmacy and lab Valisure announced that its testing had found benzene, a known carcinogen, in batches of 78 widely available sunscreen and after-sun products. The company has petitioned the FDA to recall these products, three quarters of the products are sprays.
Benzene is a highly flammable, widely used chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure at high enough levels. It also can damage the immune system and prevent cells from functioning properly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The chemical's effects vary by whether a person accidentally inhales or ingests it or gets it on skin and clothing. Symptoms range from dizziness and irregular heartbeat to convulsions and, at very high levels, death.
Benzene is extracted from two primary sources: pyrolysis gasoline (pygas), which is a co-product of ethylene manufacture; or reformate, a refinery stream resulting from the catalytic reforming process used in gasoline production. Benzene can also be derived from toluene. Benzene is widely used across many industrial sectors, where it is combined and processed with other basic chemicals (such as ethylene or propylene) to produce countless consumer goods: clothing, packaging, paints, adhesives, plywood, computer casings, compact discs, dyes, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and many more. The largest derivative outlet for benzene is ethylbenzene, an intermediate used in the production of styrene, which is further converted into materials such as polystyrene. Benzene is also widely used to produce cumene, which in turn leads to phenol, a component in phenolic resins and adhesives; cyclohexane, a precursor of caprolactam and adipic acid, both used in nylon; and aniline, a material needed to produce methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) which is used in urethanes and other specialty applications.
In May 2022, several popular sunscreen brands sold in Australia and the U.S. were recalled due to the detection of a cancer causing chemical. Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on issued an urgent recall notice for nine batches of sunscreen across four brands following the detection of the chemical compound benzene.
Benzene is a chemical that can cause cancer in humans, depending on the level and length of exposure. Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreens but can be a contaminant in raw materials used in the manufacturing process. It has been detected in one batch of a raw material used in the manufacture of a number of products and the TGA is working with affected companies to confirm if benzene is present in their medicines and if it is, how much is there.
Another large U.S. manufacturer issued a nationwide recall of its hair & scalp sunscreen spray last week.
Consistent exposure to high levels of benzene can increase a person's risk of developing leukemia, along with cancer of the blood-forming organs.
Why Is Benzene Showing Up in Some Sunscreens and Not Others?
This risk of a cross-contamination becomes much higher for any company using synthetic ingredients, chemical compounds and petroleum-based ingredients in their sunscreen because of all the processing and manufacturing of those ingredients. Benzene is a natural part of crude oil, so crude based ingredients like silicone, dimethicone and other petroleum based ingredients may also be the source of contamination. Whether its processing, cleaning, manufacturing of raw ingredients or formulas.
How Love Sun Body Creates a Safer Sunscreen from Raw Ingredients to Formula Production
Love Sun Body is a 100% natural origin mineral sunscreen – we do not use any synthetic chemical ingredients or chemical compounds in our formulas. Our products have been developed to a very rigorous global standard called Cosmos Natural certification and they are verified and validated by a governing body called ECOCERT.
Our NEW Sheer Power SPF 30 Daily Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen, Sheer Perfection SPF 30 & SPF 50 Mineral Body Sunscreens and Glow Natural Daily Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen & Moisturizer:
- Are thin and easy to apply with no white cast
- All formulas are 100% Natural Origin and certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural
- All formulas are truly effective, meeting the FDA Monograph and EU recommendation for UVA protection
- All formulas contain only non-nano-mineral filters and plant based inactive ingredients
- All formulas are Hypoallergenic, Non-Comedogenic, Gluten free, Cruelty free and Vegan
- All facial formulas have no eye-stinging ingredients and are safe for eye area
- Reef Safe, No Chemical Filters, No Synthetic Ingredients & Water Resistance 80 Minutes
- Our new crimp tubes are manufactured with over 50% PCR (Post-consumer recycled content) that are ecofriendly and easy to dispense sunscreen formulas
Love Sun Body’s mission is to create the highest-quality natural sunscreens, proven safe for your body & the planet and to ensure our customers know that our formulas are truly effective and 100% natural origin, and free of any banned or harmful chemicals. The COSMOS-standard signature is a consumer guarantee for organic and natural cosmetics that you can trust. Being certified Cosmos Natural means Love Sun Body formulas contain only 100% natural origin ingredients with no chemical filters or synthetic ingredients.
We formulate our face, body and tinted SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreens, that not only meet the FDA standards for broad spectrum protection, but the much tougher EU standards as well – they require that at least 1/3 of the SPF protection targets UVA rays. We have received a number one rating for safety and efficacy from EWG (Environmental Working Group) in their Skin Deep guide.
Love Sun Body 100% Natural Origin Mineral Sunscreens are the first and only sunscreens in the U.S. certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural and have been clinically tested hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and are reef safe. Our formulas are made with the safest UVA and UVB filters - non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
All formulas are biodegradable, our packaging is recyclable, minimized and is environmentally friendly.