Is Any Level of Benzene Safe in Sunscreen?
The Valisure study pointed out that the FDA’s current rules prohibit the use of benzene in the manufacture of consumer drug products such as sunscreen due to its unacceptable toxicity. However, the FDA does provide an exception if the use of such carcinogens is unavoidable in producing a product with significant therapeutic advances. In those situations, the use of benzene is limited to two parts per million.
Valisure pointed out that many sunscreen and related products do not contain any traces of benzene at all. As a result, it appears evident that the use of benzene in producing sunscreen products is not unavoidable. Furthermore, they point out there would appear to be no therapeutic advances in light of the long history of sunscreen and related products. As a result, it would seem that any amount of benzene in sunscreen products should be considered unacceptable.
Sunscreen Manufactures with Unacceptable Benzene Levels
Unfortunately, Valsure found a significant number of sunscreen products with benzene levels exceeding the two parts per million thresholds, even if the exception applied. These findings also applied to after-sun skincare and burn products. The following is a list of manufacturers whose products were found to have benzene levels in excess of two parts per million:
- Sun Bum
- CVS Health
- Fruit of the Earth
Neutrogena, in particular, had ten different sunscreen products with benzene levels that exceeded two parts per million. Other manufacturers that had benzene at less than this amount but still significant levels in their sunscreen products include the following:
- Raw Elements
- CVS Health
- Banana Boat
- TopCare Everyday
Because any amount of benzene in these products is a hazard, Valisure is calling on the FDA to recall these products and those with benzene in excess of two parts per million.
Many experts were quick to caution that benzene was not an ingredient in the products, but the levels of benzene found were likely due to contamination. While it is somewhat a relief to learn sunscreen companies may not be using benzene as an ingredient, this development raises serious concerns about their efforts to ensure their products are free from toxic contaminants. These companies have an obligation to ensure their products are safe and free from manufacturing defects such as hazardous contaminants. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any harm their products may cause.
Why Is Benzene Exposure Risky in Sunscreen?
Because sunscreen is applied directly to the skin and left to absorb over several hours, the presence of benzene is a cause for much concern. One of the issues identified by Valisure is that there is no daily intake or exposure guideline for benzene exposure. This is highly problematic when it comes to sunscreen, as the amount used and the number of applications can vary widely. Consumers who spend most of their days in the sun and use sunscreen regularly face much greater exposure than those who use sunscreen only infrequently because they spend less time outside.
We are continuing to monitor the issue as it develops. But, again, benzene is a known carcinogenic, and any amount of benzene in sunscreen presents a potential hazard. If you have recently been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, it may be due to sunscreen contaminated with benzene. If you have regularly used sunscreen regularly, a Georgia benzene lawyer can help you hold the manufacturer accountable.
Other Common Causes of Benzene Exposure in Georgia
People can be exposed to benzene in various ways, such as breathing it, eating it, drinking it, or absorbing it through the skin. In addition to sunscreen, some of the other most common sources of benzene exposure include the following:
- Ingestion of foods, liquids, or other consumer products that contain benzene
- Exposure to chemicals and other substances that contain benzene in industrial settings
- Cigarette smoke
- Glues, paints, solvents, and similar substances when used indoors or in confined spaces with poor ventilation
- Groundwater contamination due to industrial spills or leaks
While benzene can be present in outdoor air, it typically is not toxic. However, people who live near gas stations, hazardous waste sites, or manufacturing plants that use benzene products face an increased risk of exposure at levels that may harm their health. A Georgia benzene lawyer can talk to you about whether you have a claim if you have suffered health issues due to acute or prolonged benzene exposure.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation
If you have suffered health problems you believe are caused by benzene, a Georgia benzene lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for the following losses:
- Your current and future medical expenses
- Any income you have lost as a result of your illness as well as future lost income and loss of earning capacity
- Your pain and suffering
For those who have lost a loved one to leukemia or lymphoma caused by benzene exposure, you may be entitled to the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of support
How Can A Georgia Benzene Lawyer Help?
Many people think they should contact a lawyer only if they are confident their illness was caused by benzene exposure, and they want to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, this is a grave mistake that can ultimately jeopardize any legal rights you may have.
You do not need to be sure your illness was caused by benzene exposure to talk to a lawyer. An experienced Georgia benzene lawyer will conduct a thorough review of your case in order to determine whether you have a claim by taking the following steps:
- Review all of your medical records related to health issues you are suffering from
- Review your entire employment history, including employers and job sites in order to determine where you may have been exposed to benzene
- Assess any other factors that may have increased your benzene exposure, such as commercial products you use at home or whether you live in an area that has been polluted with benzene
- Review your current prognosis, calculate your current medical expenses and other losses
- Estimate your future medical expenses, lost income, and other losses
- Identify who may be responsible for your benzene exposure
If you are considering whether you have a claim, you should be aware you are pursuing a corporate entity likely to deny any responsibility. They have deep resources that they leverage to protect themselves from claims. In short, working with a Georgia benzene lawyer can help you level the playing field.