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Johnson & Johnson Recalls Sunscreen Products Contaminated with Benzene

— July 13, 2021

Johnson & Johnson is recalling certain sunscreen products that may be contaminated with benzene.

With the hot summer weather upon us, many households have busted out the sunscreen. Unfortunately, there are a few types of sunscreen that families should avoid. Earlier this week. Johnson & Johnson issued a recall for Aveeno and Neutrogena aerosol sunscreens after it was discovered that some may contain the “presence of benzene, a known carcinogen that’s been linked to blood cancer and other illnesses.”

Johnson & Johnson HQ Building
Johnson & Johnson HQ Building; image courtesy of Ekem via Wikimedia Commons,

As part of the recall, the company said consumers should discontinue using the products. The sunscreens included in the recall are Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, and Aveeno Protect + Refresh, according to the notice. Johnson & Johnson noted that benzene isn’t an ingredient in its sunscreen products, so an investigation was launched to find out how the products were contaminated.

The company stated, “Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products,” and added that it is “working with distributors and retailers to arrange for the return of the recalled products.”

What is Benzene, though? Well, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s “an industrial chemical normally found in crude oil and cigarette smoke that can also be used in manufacturing plastic and pesticides, is a known human carcinogen that can cause harm with long-term exposure, which is exposure for more than one year.”

It’s important to note that Valisure, an independent pharmaceutical testing company recently discovered that “78 lots of sunscreens and sun care products contained benzene…40 of which were found to have significantly detected levels of benzene.”

Consumers who have additional questions or concerns about the recall can contact Johnson & Johnson by calling (800) 458-1673.


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