Health Canada recently issued a recall for Ombrelle Garnier Complete Dry Mist Spray sunscreen in SPF30, and SPF 60 after elevated levels of benzene were detected in its composition. The recall was announced because the said chemical is included in the list of Environment Canada as a carcinogen or a cancer-causing agent.
The Ombrelle Garnier Complete Dry Mist Spray sunscreen covered in the recall will expire on August 2022, August 2023, March 2023, and March 2024. Apart from benzene, other substances that are known to cause cancer also include benzidine, vinyl chloride, radon, cadmium, nickel, and asbestos.
In a statement, Health Canada shared that prolonged exposure to benzene may lead to serious health risks. These health risks are caused by benzene’s ability to prevent the body’s cells from stopping working properly. For example, studies show that besides damaging the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells, elevated levels of benzene also cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.
Health Canada urged consumers to switch to another sunscreen brand if they have previously bought the contaminated products and consult a health care professional if they used the product and have concerns about their health and wellness.
Moreover, the federal health department explained that the common symptoms of elevated levels of benzene in the body include confusion, headaches, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, unconsciousness, and drowsiness. Extremely high levels of this carcinogen in the system may even lead to sudden death.