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Johnson & Johnson recalling Neutrogena, Aveeno sunscreens after finding traces of benzene

Studies show that benzene is known to cause cancer

Johnson and Johnson recalls five of its sunscreen products.
Johnson and Johnson recalls five of its sunscreen products. (WSLS 10)

Johnson & Johnson is recalling five of its sunscreen sprays after discovering low levels of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer, in some samples.

Benzene is a highly flammable chemical that can be found in the environment and in manufactured products. High exposure to the chemical can damage your immune system, affect your red blood cells and even lead to death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other symptoms include drowsiness, dizziness, a rapid or irregular heartbeat and more; however, reactions vary from person to person and depend on the amount they were exposed to, how long they were exposed to it and their preexisting medical conditions.

It also depends on whether they accidentally inhaled it, ingested it or got it on their skin or clothing.

J & J said that benzene isn’t an ingredient in its products and said they found the chemical after lab testing. The company added that it is working now to determine how benzene got into the sprays and said it has alerted the Food and Drug Administration about the recall.

Here are the five sunscreen sprays that were recalled. All can sizes and all levels of sun protection factor (SPF) are included:

  • Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen

“Daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products.”

As the health care giant works to get the products off of shelves, it’s urging consumers to stop using the sunscreens immediately. You can get a refund by calling J&J’s Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673.

For more information, visit Neutrogena or Aveeno’s website.


About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.