Temperatures are starting to cool and attention is turning to autumn leaves and the holiday season but not before yet another sunscreen recall has pulled product off of store shelves. Coppertone is the latest brand to be affected by an aerosol sunscreen recall that has been triggered by the discovery of benzene contamination across a wide variety of sun care products.
Benzene is a known carcinogen and can cause cancer with long-term repeated exposure. The sunscreens affected by the recall come from a host of well-known and trusted brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno, and – most recently – Coppertone and are intended for use by both children and adults. They are generally also specifically found within the brands’ spray-on, aerosol-based formulations.
Short of cancer, benzene can also cause dizziness, heartbeat abnormalities, and convulsions.
The nation’s sunscreen worries started at the kick-off of the summer season when online pharmacy Valisure; a company that has become well-known as of late for detecting a number of dangerous products on U.S. shelves while the FDA has remained largely silent, tested batches of sunscreen from 69 companies. 294 samples were analyzed and 78 of them were positive for benzene contamination.
When the FDA’s reaction to the news was a complete non-reaction, the company very publicly called out the agency and petitioned them to take action on behalf of the American people they are supposed to be protecting. “It is critical that regulatory agencies address benzene contamination in sunscreens, and all topical medications at the manufacturing and final product level,” the company wrote, “so that all individuals feel safe using sunscreen products.”
As we reach the end of summer and enter fall with yet another round of sunscreen recalls, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the FDA will be just as effective on this matter as we’ve unfortunately come to expect.