Sunscreen and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Benzene Cancer Risk

December 16, 2021 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
Sunscreen and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Benzene Cancer Risk

In the wake of the alarming discovery of benzene in sunscreens, including spray-on varieties of Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreen, consumers are asking, "Can sunscreen cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?" To be clear, scientific evidence has linked benzene to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and other types of leukemia.

In this article, we'll examine the relationship between benzene and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and look at concerns that benzene-contaminated sunscreen may cause NHL.

AUGUST 2023 UPDATE: Please note that as of August 2023, we can no longer accept cases involving benzene contamination due to developments in the litigation. Please stay tuned to our website for more information as this litigation evolves.

Benzene and Leukemia Risk

Multiple scientific studies have linked benzene to various forms of leukemia, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Research that has concluded that exposure to benzene causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma includes:

  • A 2021 study published in The Lancet medical journal determined that there was "an increased meta-relative risk [of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma] ... of 33% in highly exposed groups" and "a doubling of this risk for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a major non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtype."
  • A 2007 review of benzene-NHL studies that found that 93% of studies "show some elevation of NHL risk."
  • A 2015 study in Environmental Health Perspectives in which "significant trends in NHL risk were observed for increasing years of benzene exposure."
  • A 2017 population study of women in Shanghai exposed to benzene that found "statistically significant exposure-response associations for NHL" and "support for a benzene-NHL association."

Many government agencies have additionally designated benzene as a known carcinogen, meaning that it can cause cancer in humans. These agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The World Health Organization (WHO) has also declared exposure to benzene to be "a major public health concern."

Benzene in Sunscreen and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Can Sunscreen Cause Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma - Benzene Cancer Risk

Based on the scientific evidence indicated above and elsewhere, the link between benzene exposure and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is clear. We can reasonably assume that benzene in sunscreen may cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a chemical that is colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It is a known carcinogen, meaning that it can cause cancer in humans. It is an extremely dangerous chemical that has been linked to cancers such as various types of leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and others.

"How Could I Be Exposed to Benzene?"

The primary route of exposure to benzene is through the air. According to the CDC, outdoor air contains low levels of benzene associated with tobacco smoke, gas stations, vehicle emissions, and industrial emissions. Indoor air, however, generally contains higher levels of benzene, from sources such as glue, paint, furniture wax, detergents, and cleaners. Benzene can also leak from underground waste and fuel containers and in some cases may contaminate well water.

What is Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma?

Non-Hodkgin's lymphoma (NHL) is a relatively common form of blood cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, NHL typically starts in the lymph nodes or other lymph tissue, where white blood cells called lymphocytes begin to grow out of control. As the cancer grows, it usually spreads to other areas of the body.

There are many subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which range in severity and prognosis. Types of NHL include aggressive lymphomas which spread very quickly, and indolent lymphomas, which spread more slowly.

Aggressive lymphomas include:

  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Lymphoblastic lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Peripheral T-cell lymphoma

Indolent lymphomas include:

  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma
  • Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
  • MALT lymphoma
  • Small-cell lymphocytic lymphoma

Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Symptoms of NHL can differ significantly between patients, and sometimes symptoms are not apparent right away. According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Abdominal pain and/or swelling
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or coughing
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss

IMPORTANT: If you've experienced any of these or other symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, talk with your doctor right away.

"I've Been Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma After Using Benzene-Contaminated Sunscreen. What Can I Do?"

AUGUST 2023 UPDATE: Please note that as of August 2023, we can no longer accept cases involving benzene contamination due to developments in the litigation. Please stay tuned to our website for more information as this litigation evolves.

Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Sunscreen Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after exposure to benzene in sunscreen, you may be entitled to compensation in a sunscreen lawsuit. Our experienced product liability attorneys are actively investigating these claims and we would love to consult with you for free. For a free, no-obligation consultation, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the convenient form below.

Sunscreen Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Lawsuit Eligibility

You may qualify for a sunscreen cancer lawsuit if you meet the following criteria:

  • Must have used a qualifying sunscreen or after-sun care product, including:
    • Aveeno Protect & Refresh Spray
    • Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Weightless, SPF 100+
    • Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Weightless, SPF 70
    • Sun Bum Cool Down Gel
    • Neutrogena Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Spray, SPF 100
    • CVS Health After-Sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray
    • Neutrogena Beach Defense Body Spray, SPF 50
    • Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 60+
    • Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel
  • Must have used the qualifying sunscreen or after-sun care product regularly (at least a full year, 3-4 times per week)
  • Must have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions:
    • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
    • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
    • Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
    • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
    • Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
    • Multiple Myeloma
    • Aplastic Anemia

Call 1-800-525-7111 today for a free, no-obligation consultation and let's see how we can help. Since 2000 alone, we've recovered over $600 million in total compensation for our deserving clients, and we'd love to help you if we can (see disclaimer below). Justice Counts.

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-Linda B., Riddle & Brantley client

*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.