The FDA announced that ArtNaturals issued a voluntary recall of 10 lots of their Scent-Free Hand Sanitiser after all included eight-ounce bottles of the product were found to be spoilt. Back in March, Valisure, a company that assesses the composition of different health-related products, announced that they had found benzene in samples from 44 hand sanitiser products reportedly from ArtNaturals.
Valisure had also released a copy of a letter addressed to the FDA that requested “a recall of identified batches of hand sanitiser products on the basis that, due to contamination with a known human carcinogen and other restricted contaminants”.
The letter ordered FDA to carry out further examinations and investigations of the dangerous products as well.
And the FDA acted quickly on the alarming request.
In October, after carrying out the investigations, the FDA announced that they had “found unacceptable levels of benzene, acetaldehyde, and acetal contaminants” in samples of the ArtNaturals’ sanitiser.
Three weeks later, ArtNaturals issued their voluntary recall of the batches of the cancer-impurity containing hand sanitisers.
And it is no surprise that the health watchdogs were so concerned by the reports of benzene in a product currently used by millions to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has classified benzene as a carcinogen.
This means that if you repeatedly inhale, ingest or touch a product containing benzene, you run the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Benzene can potentially mess with cells in your bone marrow and affect your marrow’s ability to produce red blood cells.
This can also lead to anaemia and abnormal bleeding.
But it can also affect your marrow’s ability to produce white blood cells, which protect your immune system.
A weakened immune system can lead to increased infections, which ironically is exactly what hand sanitiser exists to prevent.
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It is worth noting that if you have used a product with benzene in it, it is likely that you will be safe.
It is only when there is repeated exposure that these levels of benzene pose a serious risk.
ArtsNaturals have been contacted for comment.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has issued warnings about several ineffective or contaminated hand sanitisers.