SPF? Me? Bad, bad, bad!

I’m about a 15.
Sun just goes right thru me.

Bleaches out whatever I cover.

Don’t count on me if you’re fair.
You gonna get burned.


We didn’t know about Melonomia when I was growing up. So, yeah, I’m Walking Dead.

Thanks to vitiligo, I use SPF 75 but still burn a bit if I’m not careful. We do beach vacations yet I don’t remember the last time I went in the water.

So this happened:

NEW HAVEN, CT – MAY 25, 2021 – Valisure LLC has tested and detected high levels of benzene, a known human carcinogen, in several brands and batches of sunscreen, which are considered drug products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as in after-sun care products, which are generally regulated by FDA as cosmetics. Benzene is known to cause cancer in humans according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization, and other regulatory agencies.

Kind of relevant …

Very fair, strawberry blonde hair, been sunburned very badly several times a kid. Hate putting on sunscreen, but these two things have made going to the beach and pool more bearable.

As for benzene traces in sunscreen, obviously not a good thing. But I’d want confirmation beyond what this one online pharmacy says it found.

She didn’t get famous until she married Donald.


Update with potential relevance to the finding of benzene contamination in some sunscreen products:

The company reporting the contamination, Valisure, submitted a similar petition to the FDA in 2019 warning of dangers associated with the consumption of ranitidine, an OTC drug widely used to control gastric hyperacidity (the company’s testing reported high levels of a carcinogen (NDMA). The FDA reported that such levels were associated with artificially high temperatures during the assay that essentially made the observed levels a lab artifact, and that many samples didn’t contain concerning levels. It took ranitidine off the market anyway because even lower levels of the chemical might be problematic, and NDMA could increase if the product was stored long-term and/or at higher than usual household temperatures (worth noting one might apparently be exposed to similar levels just by eating certain kinds of food, i.e. grilled meats).

An key outside study cited by Valisure in its petition to the FDA as evidence of high NDMA levels (wwhich was widely reported in major news media) has now been retracted from publication due to the lab artifact problem.

The bottom line for me is that while Valisure may well have uncovered a legitimate issue re benzene with the affected sunscreen products, it would probably be a good idea to take a close look at testing procedures before taking sweeping action, and in particular not to get scared away from using sunscreens to protect oneself from melanoma and other dangerous skin cancers.

I am probably doomed anyway by a complex of factors, including using sunscreens, taking Zantac, working with vermiculite in gardening that could have been contaminated with asbestos, (rarely) using Roundup, and being around any of a variety of household chemicals that cause endocrine disruption/cancer/chronic fatigue syndrome/you name it.