Sunscreen is a vital product that can protect your skin from prolonged UV exposure and help reduce your risk of skin cancer and other types of skin damage. Many experts recommend the daily use of SPF sunscreen but the discovery of contaminated products has some consumers concerned.
An independent pharmaceutical testing company, Valisure, detected high levels of benzene in popular sunscreen products. The company is now asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recall the product lots with dangerous amounts of benzene. But what is it, and why is it harmful? Read on to learn everything there is to know about benzene in sunscreen and why consumers are concerned!
What Is Benzene?
First, let’s establish exactly what benzene is. In short, benzene is a light yellow or colorless chemical. It’s mostly used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and is both natural and man-made. So why is it a concern?
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 solvent, meaning it shouldn’t be used in drugs or drug products (unless it’s unavoidable).