Known carcinogen found in Neutrogena and other popular sunscreen and after-sun products

Traces of benzene, a known carcinogen linked to blood cancers including leukemia, have been discovered in several dozens of popular sunscreens and after-sun products.

The tests, conducted by online pharmacy and lab Valisure, point to the presence of this chemical in 78 of the nearly 300 sprays and lotions sampled. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray and SPF 100+, as well as similar products from Banana Boat and CVS were among the 14 after-sun lotions and sprays which have been found to contain some of the highest levels of benzene tested.

Valisure has gone ahead to petition the US Food and Drugs Administration to recall these products from the market, a claim currently being reviewed by the regulating body.

The FDA takes seriously any safety concerns raised about products we regulate, including sunscreen.

Troubling discovery

In a statement announcing the results of its tests, Founder and CEO of Valisure, David Light described as ‘troubling’ the presence of benzene—one of the most concerning human carcinogens known to science—in these daily-use products.

Its (benzene) association with forming blood cancers in humans has been shown in numerous studies at trace levels of parts per million and below. The presence of this known human carcinogen in products widely recommended for the prevention of skin cancer and that are regularly used by adults and children is very troubling.

Rigorous Testing and approval

Johnson & Johnson, maker of Neutrogena products as well as the other known brands whose products have been affected, insist that their personal care products are subjected to rigorous testing and subsequent approval by the FDA.

CVS said in a statement that they only sell ‘safe’ products.

We are in the process of reviewing and evaluating information in and related to Valisure's petition and we will respond accordingly.

However, Valisure emphasized that consumers should not avoid using sunscreen and after-sun products based on these tests.

It is important for people, especially heading into the summer months, to understand that many sunscreen products tested by Valisure did not have benzene contamination, and those products are presumably safe and should continue to be used

At the bottom of Valisure’s petition to the FDA is the full list of products found to be safe from this carcinogen.

Johnson and Johnson has urgently recalled these sunscreen products Johnson and Johnson has urgently recalled these sunscreen products