the toxic ingredient that dominated 2021 headlines and how to protect yourself and your family from it
Throughout 2021, toxic ingredients reared their ugly heads over and over again in consumer products that most Americans have long assumed were safe. But the toxin in headlines most often was probably benzene.
Benzene is a powerful human carcinogen that’s been linked to leukemia and other blood cancers. In 2021, traces of it were found in products like sunscreen, antiperspirant, foot spray, and dry shampoo. Even trace amounts of benzene are not safe, as they inevitably increase exposure to some degree. If you use products containing benzene often and use it on a significant area of skin, exposure adds up. The buildup of harmful chemicals is known as body burden and can lead to a variety of health conditions and illnesses.
Although benzene is not usually an intentional ingredient in consumer products, it is a common contaminant, especially in aerosol products that require propellants like butane and propane, which are petroleum derived and susceptible to explosion. Companies often outsource manufacturing of aerosols to bomb-proof facilities due to the associated risks.
What is the FDA doing about it?
- In December 2021, the FDA requested that companies test any products at risk of contamination. Although the organization oversees consumer products, it does not test for contaminants.
- While consumer companies have maintained that they have found only small traces of benzene, the FDA is still asking them to recall any products that contain benzene levels higher than 2 parts per million. (Valisure, a small lab in Connecticut, found benzene levels as high as 6 parts per million in sunscreens, 16 parts per million in hand sanitizers, and 18 parts per million in antiperspirants!) While some manufacturers issue voluntary recalls of benzene-contaminated products, many did not.
- The FDA follows international guidelines that allow for more than 2 parts per million of benzene if “use is unavoidable in order to produce a drug product with a significant therapeutic advance,” although Valisure testing showed that certain products containing benzene can indeed be made without it.
In short, due to its limited oversight, the FDA is doing nothing to actually stop companies from making and selling consumer products containing benzene.
What can you do about it? Shop non toxic!
Pure haven products are made in the United States with only the safest, most effective ingredients, so you can feel good about using them and sharing them with your loved ones. We manufacture our products in our own certified USDA organic facility and work with trusted vendors and partners who adhere to our strict non toxic quality standards. Our unique formulations are trusted and true.
Source: Edney, A. Toxins in household products leave FDA chasing a vapor trail. Watertown Daily Times. 14 Jan 2022.