TAMPA (WFLA) – Hand sanitizers have become an important weapon in the fight against COVID-19. But a new study suggests some products may contain a cancerous chemical.
Valisure, a Connecticut-based pharmacy, found benzene, a carcinogen linked to certain cancers, in multiple batches of the sanitizers it tested.
Benzene is a known carcinogen that is linked to blood disorders like leukemia.
The FDA has stated that benzene should not be used in drug products but allowed small amounts in sanitizers to meet the high demand early in the pandemic.
“Consumer use of hand sanitizers has increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic and while it is important that consumers have access to products that help ensure personal and public safety, it is of utmost importance that consumers have access to products that are safe and not contaminated,” David Light, the company’s founder, said in a statement. “The detection of hand sanitizer products that contain high levels of benzene is cause for significant concern as these products are potentially being used in high volumes several times daily by adults and children alike.”
Valisure says of 260 products, 21 products from 15 brands tested above the FDA interim limit. The top three tested between six- to eight-times higher than allowed.
Valisure found batches of a Star Wars Mandalorian hand sanitizer with a Baby Yoda character on the label manufactured by Best Brands Consumer Products contained nearly double the allowable amount. Attempts to get a response from the manufacturer were unsuccessful.
Most of the products containing high levels of benzene were made in China or the U.S.
For a list of products tested by Valisure, visit their website.