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Pharmacy warns of a new risk from hand sanitizers

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

Some hand sanitizers, which are widely used to prevent the spread of coronavirus, contain high levels of benzene, a known human carcinogen capable of causing cancer, says a new study.

Several hand sanitizers contain high levels of benzene, according to research by Valisure, a laboratory-based in New Haven, Connecticut.

The specialists analyzed 260 bottles of 168 brands and found that 44 – 17% – of the samples contained detectable levels of benzene.

The World Health Organization considers benzene to be one of the most dangerous substances, considered as dangerous as ASBESTOS.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a limit of 2 parts per million of benzene in hand sanitizers. However, Valisure found that one of the samples tested contained eight times more than the allowed amount.

Most of the problem products were made in the US, China or South Korea and were in the form of gels. One of the most contaminated disinfectants came with the label of Baby Yoda, a character from the popular series The Mandalorian.

The laboratory considers its findings alarming and notes that they reveal a serious potential risk to public health since these products are widely recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are used by both adults and children.

Valisure has already filed a petition to the FDA for contaminated products to be removed from the market, an investigation is conducted, and information provided to the public.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – NIOSH – also classifies benzene as a carcinogen and lists as routes of exposure “inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact” as exposure routes.

Benzene is specifically associated with blood cancers, such as leukemia, the lab notes. Therefore, absorption through the skin is especially worrying, as multiple FDA studies show that structurally similar chemicals in sunscreen products are found in the blood at high levels after application to exposed skin.

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