Valisure, the online pharmacy responsible for discovering NDMA contamination of Zantac and benzene contamination of a significant number of brands of hand sanitizer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the United States, has once again discovered contamination in products that would have otherwise gone unnoticed by federal regulators.
The pharmacy, known for its policy of independent product testing, has discovered traces of benzene in over 75 brands of sun care sprays and lotions. The products, marketed as both sunscreens well as after-sun care range across a variety of brands including trusted names like Neutrogena.
Benzene is strongly linked to a variety of blood cancers, including leukemia, and its presence in products used across all age ranges, including children, has experts on alert. “Benzene is one of the most studied and concerning human carcinogens known to science,” says David Light, founder and CEO of Valisure. “Its 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.” Light has also taken the FDA to task for “regulatory gaps regarding benzene in both drug and cosmetic products.”
Valisure has petitioned the FDA to recall the products it has found to have benzene contamination and, to no one’s surprise, the FDA has responded with its default lackadaisical, wait-and-see approach as it reviews Valisure’s claims.
Those claims are significant, as all samples that triggered Valisure’s alert “contained up to three times the conditionally restricted FDA concentration limit of 2 parts per million” of benzene.
Valisure has made their FDA petition publicly accessible and posted it to Google Drive while the agency eventually decides what they’d like to do.