During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March and April 2020, there was a crazy stock of hand sanitizer.
Worldwide manufacturers started producing so much hand sanitizer so all the people could feel safe, being sure that they don’t have any germs and bacteria on their hands.
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This product’s increased production appeared to have a detrimental outcome on public health.
A New Haven, Connecticut, checked 260 samples from 168 hand sanitizer production brands. Precisely this examination opened our eyes of the side effects of hand sanitizer usage.
44 hand sanitizers made amid pandemic shortages have high levels of cancer-causing chemical considered as dangerous as ASBESTOS https://t.co/fEYwsyIGHr
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 25, 2021
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Some hand sanitizers made amid COVID pandemic have high levels of cancer-causing chemical benzene ☠️ Daily Mail Online https://t.co/CXuOogUZJd
— TheCyberChick (@warriors_mom) March 25, 2021
Even 44 samples consisted of detectable benzene levels, which is cancerogenic, causing blood cancers like leukemia. Twenty-one samples had benzene levels higher than recommended. The most shocking result was that one sample had eight times more than the recommended dose of benzene.
All the harmful brands with the highest benzene levels came to the market last year in March.
The recall process has already begun, but those dangerous products have been on the shelves for an entire year.
Read the report from the Daily Mail.
Some hand sanitizers that popped up during the coronavirus pandemic to help meet the demand, contain high levels of a cancer-causing chemical, a new analysis finds.
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Valisure, an online pharmacy based in New Haven, Connecticut, said it has detected benzene in several batches across multiple brands of hand sanitizer.
The product is considered as dangerous as asbestos and several companies had levels up to eight times the limit recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
‘The presence of benzene, a known human carcinogen, and multiple other contaminants, in products widely recommended for the prevention of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 and regularly used by adults and children in large volumes makes these findings especially troubling,’ Valisure wrote in a letter to the FDA.
Benzene is a liquid chemical that is typically colorless but, at room temperature, can become a light yellow color.
It is naturally found in volcanoes and as a result of forest fires, but is also used to make several products including detergents, dyes, lubricants and rubbers.
Being exposed to high levels of benzene can cause cells to not works correctly such as causing bone marrow to not produce enough red blood cells or damaging the immune system to lose white blood cells, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified benzene as a carcinogen, putting it in the highest risk category, Group 1, with other chemicals such as asbestos.
Benzene has been linked to blood cancers such as leukemia.
The FDA currently recommends a limit of two ppm (part per million) for liquid hand sanitizer, but does not have recommendations for others such as sprays.
For its analysis, Valisure sampled 260 bottles from 168 brands sold at various big box stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and online retailers across the country.
Of the liquid and non-liquid products tested, 44 batches, or 17 percent, had detectable levels of benzene.
A total of 21 bottles, or eight percent of the supply, contained levels of benzene above two parts per million.
An eight-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer made by company artnaturals had the highest level of benzene at 16 parts per million.
Test results by the online pharmacy were verified by Yale University’s Chemical and Biophysical Instrumentation Center and Boston Analytics, a private laboratory.
All of the products with the highest levels of benzene began selling their products in either April or May 2020, according to FDA records, when mainstays were disappearing off of shelves.
Valisure believes some of the sanitizers may have become contaminated with benzene because the chemical is sometimes used in alcohol purification, although it is supposed to be removed before the hand sanitizer is packaged.
Valisure has drafted a citizen petition to the FDA, identifying the products and asking the agency to recall the batches, conduct its own analysis and to develop guidance documents defining the limit of benzene for all hand sanitizers.
This is not the first time potentially toxic hand sanitizers have come under public scrutiny.
In June 2020, the FDA warned Americans to stop using nine hand sanitizers because they contained varying amounts of methanol.
If you want clean hands, we beg you to use soap and water and avoid these highly toxic chemicals.