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Sunscreen With Leukemia-Causing Benzene Is Latest Summer Worry

May 28, 2021, 11:00 AM

Four decades ago, the U.S. government used rarely deployed emergency powers to reduce workers’ exposure to benzene, a chemical linked to a five-fold increased risk of potentially deadly leukemia.

After a landmark study in 1977 highlighted its health risks, employers and manufacturers were forced to limit the industrial compound in their workplaces. Yet just within the past few months, elevated levels of benzene have appeared in some hand sanitizers, and on Tuesday, an analysis by an independent testing lab revealed its presence in some sunscreens and after-sun skin soothers.

The carcinogen benzene has been found in some sunscreens.
Source: iStockphoto

While the amounts found in skin products have been relatively ...