As Connecticut pools and shoreline beaches open up and hot summer days start to set in, you may be reaching for a bottle of SPF to protect against UVA and UVB rays, but before you slather on the lotion, do you really know what’s inside that bottle? According to a new study, a cancer-causing chemical may be lurking in your go-to brand of sunblock. Valisure, a New Haven pharmaceutical testing lab, found concentrations of benzene, designated a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in 27% of the nearly 300 sunscreen and after-sun products tested. Those findings have prompted U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal to demand more Food and Drug Administration oversight of sunscreens, calling for the FDA to issue an administrative order before September to address the issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, benzene is formed in nature and manufactured by humans.
Despite the best efforts of health departments across the state, the number of reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) continues to rise dramatically, mirroring a national trend. According to surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. experienced steep, sustained increases in STDs between 2013 and 2017. In Connecticut, reported cases of syphilis rose 51 percent during the four-year period, while gonorrhea jumped 25 percent and chlamydia rose 27 percent. According to the CDC’s ranking of all 50 states, Connecticut was 27th for reports of chlamydia, 4oth for gonorrhea, and 45th for syphilis. Health officials acknowledge that the rise in reported STDs cases is partially due to better testing and tracking.
People nationally are smoking fewer cigarettes, but consumption of cheaper forms of tobacco is rising, especially among youth and young adults, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control.