The Dangers of Benzene in Sunscreen: What You Need to Know

by | May 10, 2023 | Defective Product, Personal Injury, Product Recall

Direct exposure to UV rays from the sun can be harmful to human health. As a result, numerous health organizations recommend using sunscreen to protect your health and prevent diseases like skin cancer. In recent years, however, research has found that many brands of sunscreen may be dangerous themselves due to contamination with benzene, a powerful chemical known to cause cancer. As a result, numerous sunscreen products have been subject to recalls.

Consumers naturally have many questions about the sunscreen recalls and their risk of developing cancer. At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, we want to help you find answers. If you are concerned that you or someone you love has developed cancer due to benzene in sunscreen, contact us today.

In the below article, our personal injury lawyers provide more information about the numerous sunscreen recalls, benzene and its dangers, and why you may find it helpful to contact an attorney.

Why is Sunscreen Being Recalled?

Benzene is not an intended ingredient in sunscreen. It is a known carcinogen and is not considered safe for use in consumer products. However, benzene can be a contaminant in sunscreen, especially in spray-on products. This is because benzene is a volatile chemical that can be released during the manufacturing process.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a limit of 2 parts per million (ppm) of benzene in sunscreen. This means that there should be no more than 2 micrograms of benzene per gram of sunscreen. However, some sunscreens have been found to contain levels of benzene that are much higher than this limit.

The FDA is currently investigating the presence of benzene in sunscreen and is working to ensure that all sunscreens on the market meet safety standards. If you have any concerns about the safety of your sunscreen, you should talk to your doctor.

Recalls Due to Benzene in Sunscreen

There have been several recalls of sunscreens that have been found to contain benzene, a known carcinogen. The following brands and products have been recalled:

Aveeno

    • Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Protect + Refresh Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50

Banana Boat

    • Kids’ Max Protect & Play Sunscreen, SPF 100
    • Kids’ Sport Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 50
    • Protective Dry Oil Clear Sunscreen Spray with Coconut Oil, SPF 15
    • Simply Protect Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50+
    • Ultra Defense Ultra Mist Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
    • Ultra Mist Deep Tanning Oil Continuous Clear, Spray SPF4
    • Ultra Sport Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100

CVS Health

    • After Sun Aloe Vera Gel with Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
    • Daily Defense Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Daily Defense Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Mineral Sunscreen Face Lotion, SPF 30
    • Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50

Equate

    • Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
    • Daily Defense Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Daily Defense Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Mineral Sunscreen Face Lotion, SPF 30
    • Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50

Goodfellow & Co.

    • Face Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50

Jergens

    • Natural Glow Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

L’Oreal Paris

    • Sublime Sun UV Perfect Spray-On Sunscreen, SPF 50
    • Sublime Sun UV Perfect Spray-On Sunscreen, SPF 30

Neutrogena

    • Beach Defense Water-Resistant Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 60
    • Cool Dry Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
    • Invisible Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 60
    • Invisible Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50
    • Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 50

Rimmel London

    • Lasting Finish Primer Sun Protection, SPF 30

Walgreens

    • After Sun Aloe Vera Gel with Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
    • Daily Defense Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Daily Defense Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Mineral Sunscreen Face Lotion, SPF 30
    • Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50

If you have any of these products, stop using them immediately and return them to the store for a refund.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a clear, colorless, and highly flammable liquid with a sweet odor. It is a known carcinogen, which means that it can cause cancer. Benzene is found in gasoline, cigarette smoke, and other products. It can also be produced during the burning of coal, oil, and wood.

Benzene is a carcinogen because it can damage DNA. DNA is the genetic material that makes up cells. When DNA is damaged, it can lead to the development of cancer. Benzene can damage DNA in several ways. It can break the DNA strands, it can add or remove chemical groups from the DNA, or it can change the order of the DNA bases.

Benzene is a risk factor for several types of cancer, including:

    • Leukemia
    • Lymphoma
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Breast cancer
    • Lung cancer
    • Kidney cancer
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The risk of developing cancer from benzene exposure depends on the amount of benzene that is inhaled or ingested. The risk is also higher for people who are exposed to benzene for a long period of time.

What are the Chances of Getting Cancer from Benzene?

The chances of getting cancer from benzene exposure depend on a number of factors, including the amount of benzene that is inhaled or ingested, the length of time that the exposure occurs, and the individual’s genetic makeup.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified benzene as a Group 1 carcinogen, which means that it is known to cause cancer in humans. The IARC has estimated that long-term exposure to benzene at high levels can increase the risk of developing leukemia by up to 40%.

However, the risk of developing cancer from benzene exposure is not the same for everyone. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of benzene than others. For example, children and young adults are more likely to develop cancer from benzene exposure than adults. People who have certain genetic mutations are also more likely to develop cancer from benzene exposure.

Symptoms Associated with Benzene Exposure

Exposure to high levels of benzene can cause a range of health effects, including acute and chronic effects.

Acute effects of benzene exposure can include:

    • Dizziness
    • Headaches
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Confusion
    • Loss of consciousness at very high levels of exposure

Chronic exposure to benzene has been linked to:

    • Development of various cancers
    • Development of blood disorders
    • Damage to the immune system
    • Damage to the reproductive system
    • Organ damage

It is important to take precautions to minimize exposure to benzene, particularly for those who work with or around the chemical in industrial settings. Consumers generally should never be exposed to benzene, especially in the products they purchase to promote health and wellness.

What is Benzene Used For?

Benzene has many industrial applications and is widely used as a starting material for the production of other chemicals. Some common uses for benzene include:

    • Production of Plastics: Benzene is used to make various types of plastics, such as polystyrene, polyurethane, and nylon.
    • Production of Synthetic Fibers: Benzene is used in the production of synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon.
    • Production of Rubber: Benzene is used in the production of synthetic rubber, which is used in tires, hoses, belts, and other products.
    • Production of Dyes: Benzene is used in the production of various dyes, which are used in textiles, paper, and other products.
    • Production of Detergents: Benzene is used in the production of detergents and other cleaning products.
    • Production of Drugs: Benzene is used in the production of various drugs, such as aspirin and antibiotics.
    • Production of Pesticides: Benzene is used in the production of various pesticides and herbicides, which are used to control pests in agriculture.

It is worth noting that while benzene is still used in some industries, its use has decreased in recent years due to concerns about its potential harmful effects on human health and the environment.

Sunscreen Cancer Lawsuits

Numerous lawsuits have already been filed in relation to benzene in sunscreen. Companies like Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno, and Neutrogena are being sued by consumers who developed certain cancers after long-term use of sunscreen. It is expected that more lawsuits will be filed.

Lawsuits related to benzene in sunscreen fall under the umbrella of product liability law. Lawsuits can be filed on the basis of:

    • Manufacturer defect
    • Defective design of the product
    • Failure to properly test the product
    • Failure to warn consumers of the danger
    • Breach of warranty
    • Negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation

Successful lawsuits may result in plaintiffs receiving compensation for the harm they suffered due to benzene in sunscreen. Damages often available in product liability cases include:

    • Medical expenses
    • Loss of income
    • Future loss of income
    • Disability
    • Pain and suffering

The best way to find out what your legal options may be is to speak with a product liability lawyer.

Get a Free Product Liability Case Evaluation

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer related to benzene in sunscreen, Kherkher Garcia wants to help. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience helping clients take a stand against negligent product manufacturers. We have won billions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We would be honored to fight for you.

To find out more about your rights and legal options, call us at 713-333-1030, or fill out the contact form on our website. Our case evaluations are 100% free, and you are under no obligation by contacting us to learn more.

 

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Kevin Haynes

Kevin Haynes

Firm Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Firm Partner Kevin Haynes. Kevin has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 15 years. He has won $150 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. Kevin is powerful and effective in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work or on the road.

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