NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hand sanitizer is known to keep us safe, but a new study finds some brands contain high levels of a cancer causing chemical.

Valisure, and independent lab and pharmacy that tests drug products for quality, says it found elevated levels of benzene in 21 sanitizers out of 260.

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In the early days of the pandemic, the FDA reportedly relaxed standards on benzene, but valisure says many products contain well above the allowable limit.

“Honestly, I was shocked,” Valisure CEO David Light said. “It might very well be the most well-known… compound that is dangerous to humans.”

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The leading hand sanitizer brand, Purell, and many others had no detectable levels of benzene.

Valisure has petitioned the FDA to launch an investigation and recall for the products on the list.

The agency says it is reviewing the petition and continues to test sanitizer products and monitor the market.

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