Why is there benzene in my kids sunscreen…..REALLY AGAIN!

Would you be upset if you knew your sunscreen contained a carcinogen ? Of course you would and sure enough between the use of chemical blocking agents that were found to be toxic we now have a contamination with benzene. You might recall that back in March of 2021, Valisure a patient advocacy, consumer protection group had to alert the FDA that it found benzene in 44 hand sanitizers that contained this toxin. And now in September once again the same group found benzene in sunscreens.

Not to fear monger however, what would your say if we’re talking numbers that at their highest levels of benzene being detected were at 16.1 ppm, over eight times the FDA’s limit ?


Not familiar with benzene , it’s found in your gasoline, from smoking, forest fires and used in many industrial processes. And if your indoors consider it may be in the glues, your paints, furniture wax, and detergents   So what’s the  Center for Disease control tell us about treatment ? “No specific antidote exists for benzene poisoning. The most important thing is for victims to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Worried….. you should be !

The World Health Organization clearly labels benzene as a cancer causing agent. If you were a worker the OSHA standards for legal airborne permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 1 ppm averaged over an 8-hour work shift and 5 ppm, not to be exceeded during any 15-minute work period. But get this the detectable odor for most folks is 12 PPM…..so your nose would not be particularly useful.

The FDA explains that benzene is classified as a human carcinogen and, “exposure to it can occur through inhalation, oral and skin and it could, depending on the level and extent of exposure, result in an increased risk of cancers including leukemia, and blood cancer of the bone marrow and other blood disorders which can be life-threatening.”


Coppertone, Beiersdorf’s sunscreen brand, has issued a voluntary recall of specific lots of five sunscreen products along with along with the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. brand 4 Neutrogena and 1 Aveeno brand product all due to the presence of benzene.

The U.​S. Food and Drug Administ­ration (FDA) sent out a public notification of the recall, which includes: Pure & Simple SPF 50 Spray (2021 launch), Pure & Simple Baby SPF 50 Spray, Pure & Simple Kids SPF 50 Spray, Sport Mineral SPF 50 Spray (2021 launch), and Travel-Size Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 50 (1.6 oz) aerosol sunscreen sprays. The products were manufactured between the dates of Jan. 10, 2021, and June 15, 2021.

Recall Reimbursement:

Want to get reimbursed for your products ? For a refund request of the Coppertone products, go to www.sunscreenrecall2021.com For the Aveeno and Neutrogena products go to JJCI’s Consumer Care Center by calling 1-800-361-8068.

Twelve lots of the Coppertone products have been identified:

  • UPC 00072140­028817, Coppertone (CT) Pure & Simple (P&S) BABY SPF50 SPRAY 5 OZ 12S, Lot TN0083J, mfr date: 1/10/2021
  • UPC 00072140­028817, CT P&S BABY SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN0083K, 1/11/2021;
  • UPC 00072140­028824, CT P&S KIDS SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN00854, 1/12/2021;
  • UPC 00072140­028824, CT P&S KIDS SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN00855, 1/14/2021;
  • UPC 00072140­028701, CT SPORT Mineral (MIN) SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN008KU, 3/15/2021;
  • UPC 00072140­028701, CT SPORT MIN SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN008KV, 3/16/2021;
  • UPC 00072140­028800, CT P&S SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN009GH, 3/31/2021;
  • UPC 00072140­028824, CT P&S KIDS SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN00857, 4/6/2021;
  • UPC 00041100­005069, CT SPORT SPRAY SPF50 1.​6OZ 24S, Lot TN00BU3, 5/6/2021;
  • UPC 00721400­28800, CT P&S SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN00CJ4, 6/15/2021; and
  • UPC 00072140­028824, CT P&S KIDS SPF50 SPRAY 5OZ 12S, Lot TN00CJV, 6/15/2021.

The lots of the  Aveno/Neutrogena Products

  • Neutrogena brands: Beach Defense, Cool Dry Sport, Invisible Daily defense and Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreens
  • Aveeno brand:  Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.

Get Upset

Want to know how the industry trade group responded ?

“The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are strongly committed to ensuring consumers have access to cosmetics and personal care products with ingredients that have been thoroughly tested for safety and follow the requirements of the law.

“There is nothing more important than safety. If our consumers can’t believe in a product or rely on it to do what it says, then nothing else matters. We are aware of the citizen’s petition filed with the U.​S. Food and Drug Administ­ration (FDA) and are carefully examining its findings.”  And there’s more…..“As sunscreen manufactures, our goal is to provide our consumers with access to a wide variety of safe, effective and innovative sunscreens so they can make informed decisions. Sunscreen is an important part of an overall safe sun program. It is our hope that using sunscreen becomes as much of a habit as putting on your seat belt.”

And now a word from the FDA:

The FDA statement;  “Daily exposure to benzene at the levels detected in these affected Coppertone aerosol sunscreen spray products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences based on generally accepted exposure modeling by numerous regulatory agencies. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling certain lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen spray products. To date, Coppertone has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.”

At Pure Living it’s not always the dose that counts, but rather the cumulative and interactive chemistry that make toxins, even at a low level concerning. It’s unfortunate that we have to have a consumer advocacy group pave the way to alert us to the dangers of common used items.

Take Aways:

  • Don’t use aerosol based sunscreens, they can easily be inhaled into lung tissues
  • Only use products that have been formulated properly and don’t contain carcinogens
  • Using a mineral based sunscreen can be a very appropriate response to sun exposure
  • Get your money back and let the brands know how you feel
  • Curious about your bodies contents of Benzene ? A simple urine test is available, accurate and inexpensive