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.
What Is Benzene? Why Do You Need to Be Concerned About Benzene in Sunscreen?
Benzene is a highly flammable, widely used chemical that is present throughout the environment. It 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.
Now, several popular sunscreen brands sold in Australia and the U.S. have been recalled due to the detection of a cancer causing chemical. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Friday 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.
Benzene levels in sunscreens sold in Australia must be below 2 parts per million (ppm). Although exposure at the levels detected would not be expected to cause serious adverse health effects, and risks to users are considered low, the sunscreens are being recalled to ensure consumer safety.
Consistent exposure to high levels of benzene can increase a person's risk of developing leukemia, along with cancer of the blood-forming organs.
The TGA urges customers with any of the affected batch numbers to return it to the place of purchase or contact the sponsor for a refund.
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 -- there’s basically room for error here.
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.
We started working on revising our sunscreen formulas in 2020 and we are just launched our NEW Sheer Power SPF 30 Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen and NEW Sheer Perfection SPF 30 & SPF 50 Mineral Body Sunscreens:
- All new formulas are thin and easy to apply with no white cast
- 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 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 our formulas are biodegradable, our packaging is recyclable, minimized and is environmentally friendly.