More than 40 kinds of sunscreens with benzene exceeding the standard are easy to cause cancer, and you need to be vigilant when choosing

2022-03-13

Recently, a U.S. online pharmacy announced that they filed with the FDA to recall 40 batches of sunscreen and after-sun repair products after high levels of the chemical benzene were detected in these products, some of which had an FDA emergency level of benzene. Three times the limit, or two parts per million (ppm)!

In the test party's report, benzene was found in 43 of 224 sunscreens and 8 of 48 after-sun products, including many well-known brands.
Long-term exposure to benzene is known to cause cancer, so this announcement raised public concerns about the safety of sunscreen use. So for consumers, is there a safe dose of "benzene" "can use?

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What is the carcinogenic level of benzene?
Studies have shown that regular exposure to low levels of benzene can lead to leukemia, myeloma, recurrent miscarriage and other serious consequences. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines benzene as a carcinogen and "Inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact" are listed as routes of exposure.
The FDA has made it clear that benzene should not be used at all in the manufacture of standard drugs due to its unacceptable toxicity; however, there are no established exposure limits for benzene. Adding benzene is allowed in very specific circumstances, but making sunscreens is not one of them.
"The amount of benzene in sunscreen products is unsafe". "Even 0.1 ppm of benzene in sunscreen puts people at risk of cancer," said Christopher Bnick, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Yale University.

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How to choose the right sunscreen?
Of course by choosing a sunscreen that meets national standards!
Look at the ingredients:
The wavelength of ultraviolet light includes three parts: short wave, medium wave and long wave.
Long wave (UVA) is divided into UVA1 (340~400nm) and UVA2 (320~340nm). The longer the wavelength, the greater the risk of damage to the skin. While most UVB filters can partially protect UVA2 and UVB radiation, especially products with high SPF values. However, only the following three active ingredients meet the protection needs of UVA1.
Avobenzone (Organic)
Zinc oxide (no type)
Titanium dioxide (no type)
Therefore, when choosing a sunscreen, you can focus on two ingredients, zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
In addition, if you are concerned that sunscreens contain carcinogenic ingredients, you can go to the website of the State Food and Drug Administration to check whether there is a disqualification notice.

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Look at the sunscreen index:
When shopping for sunscreen, you compare SPF and PFA, but should you always go for high SPF and PFA?
For commuting to work, holiday travel... For the needs of different groups of people, we recommend using sunscreens with different SPF values.
Without sun protection, increased risk of melanoma
Our population is generally light-skinned and susceptible to both acute (sunburn) and chronic (photoaging, skin cancer) adverse effects of excessive sun exposure. In addition, epidemiological studies have found that both UVA and UVB contribute to the development of melanoma.
Therefore, daily use of sunscreen is still encouraged and must be repeated in sufficient quantities on all skin areas exposed to the sun to provide effective protection.
In addition, the timing of applying sunscreen is also critical. Correct sunscreen posture is.
Apply 15-30 minutes before sun exposure to create a protective film on the skin's surface.
It is recommended to apply sunscreen 10-20 minutes before getting dressed.
If exposed to sunlight outdoors, it should be reapplied every 2 hours.
Since swimming or sweating washes away all sunscreen, even if the sunscreen is labeled "waterproof," it needs to be reapplied after every swim.
Sunscreens still have a status that cannot be ignored, and the safety of sunscreens that meet national standards is generally very good. There may be concerns about chemical absorption through the skin, but current research suggests that recommendations for sunscreen use remain the same unless more experimental data are available.

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