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Cancer-causing chemical benzene found in sunscreen and hand sanitisers – ‘There’s no safe level’, says public health expert

Four decades ago, the U.S. government used rarely deployed emergency powers to reduce workers’ exposure to benzene, a chemical linked to a five-fold increased risk of potentially deadly leukemia.

After a landmark study in 1977 highlighted its health risks, employers and manufacturers were forced to limit the industrial compound in their workplaces. Yet just within the past few months, elevated levels of benzene have appeared in some hand sanitizers, and on Tuesday, an analysis by an independent testing lab revealed its presence in some sunscreens and after-sun skin soothers.