An independent study by Valisure has found elevated Benzene levels in 21 hand sanitizing products from 15 brands.
CBS News quoted Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor of environmental science at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, saying that the FDA prohibits benzene in the manufacture of any component of a drug product, including hand sanitizers, due to its toxicity. But to meet the high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, it allowed an interim limit of 2 parts per million (ppm) of benzene only in liquid hand sanitizers. Benzene is an industrial chemical known to cause blood disorders like leukemia and is a known human carcinogen. Humans can be exposed to benzene through inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin, and eye contact.
A study conducted by Valisure, an independent lab and pharmacy, revealed that out of the 260 batches of hand sanitizers tested, 44 batches (17%) contained benzene at 0.1 ppm or above and 21 batches (8%) contained benzene at 2 ppm or above. The highest level of benzene detected was 16.1 ppm, which is over eight times the interim limit allowed for temporary use. The tests were conducted in association with Yale University and Boston Analytical Institute.
Valisure has petitioned the FDA( Food and Drug Administration) to launch an investigation and recall the products that contain higher levels of benzene that are potentially harmful to humans.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.