Carcinogenic substance detected in some acne treatments

High levels of benzene, a substance carcinogenic chemistryin some acne treatments from brands such as Estee Lauder's Clinique, Target's Up & Up and Clearasil, owned by Reckitt Benckiser, said independent US laboratory Valisure.

Valisure also filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, asking the regulator to recall the products, conduct an investigation and review industry guidelines, the New Haven, Connecticut-based drugmaker said.

Estée Lauder shares fell 2%. Benzene was also detected in Proactiv, PanOxyl, Walgreens Acne Bar Soap (WBA.O), and Walmart's Equate Beauty Acne Cream, among others, according to Valisure.

Benzene could form at “unacceptably high levels” in benzoyl peroxide acne treatment products, both prescription and over-the-counter, Valisure said.

Reckitt said in a statement that the findings “reflect unrealistic scenarios rather than real-world conditions,” adding that all Clearasil products were safe “when used and stored as directed on their labels.”

Estee Lauder said Clinique uses benzoyl peroxide in a product, which “is safe for use as intended,” and Walmart did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. The FDA has not yet responded to Valisure's petition.

He carcinogen It has already been found in several consumer products, including sunscreens, hand sanitizers and dry shampoo, leading to recalls of products made by companies such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.

But the detection of benzene in acne treatment products was “substantially different” from the other cases, Valisure said.

“The benzene we found in sunscreens and other consumer products were impurities that came from contaminated ingredients; however, the benzene in benzoyl peroxide products comes from benzoyl peroxide itself,” said Valisure co-founder and president David Light.

Valisure's testing showed that some products could form more than 800 times the FDA's conditionally restricted benzene concentration limit.

(With information from Reuters)

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