A group of researchers has called on the Food and Drug Administration to pull certain popular sunscreen brands after they said they’ve found evidence of a potential cancer-causing chemical*. The chemical in question: octocrylene. The reason for concern: octocrylene may degrade to benzophenone, a suspected carcinogen that can also interfere with key hormones like estrogen. Researchers collected data that suggested octocrylene stayed in the human body at concerning levels and could still be detected in blood for up to 10 days.
Products containing octocrylene
Nearly 2,400 products carrying the ingredient were on the market as of April 2021, including well-known brands like Coppertone, Banana Boat and Neutrogena.
Last month, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) recalled five of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens after the company found low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, in some samples. J&J is now the target of a class-action lawsuit seeking damages over the matter.
*Haereticus Environmental Laboratory (HEL) led researchers in a letter calling on the FDA to pull all sunscreens that contain the active ingredient octocrylene.