Elevated level of carcinogen found in some hand sanitizer brands, study says

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (NewsNation Now) — An independent lab study found that 17% of liquid hand sanitizers tested contained elevated levels of a harmful carcinogen.

Valisure, an online lab and pharmacy that independently tests drugs for quality and chemical compositions, found elevated levels of benzene in more than 40 hand sanitizers. The lab tested 260 hand sanitizers and found that 44 contained elevated levels of benzene.

In June 2020, the FDA updated their guidance to allow an interim limit of 2 parts per million (ppm) for benzene in liquid hand sanitizers due to high demand.

Vailsure’s tests found that the highest level of benzene detected was 16.1ppm, which is over eight times this interim limit. Vailsure is petitioning the FDA to launch an investigation into the study’s findings.

“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,” said David Light, Founder & CEO of Valisure. “We urge FDA and manufacturers to act expeditiously to remove the contaminated lots from the market. It is also important for consumers to understand that uncontaminated hand sanitizer products are available and should continue to be used.”

Benzene is a known carcinogen, that when exposed can cause blood disorders and affect bone marrow, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the full list of hand sanitizers where benzene was detected at .1 ppm or higher, below: