J&J recalls spray sunscreens after testing found traces of cancer-causing chemical

neutrogena sunscreens
Cans of Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen are seen, Thursday, July 15, 2021, in Marple Township, Pa.

  • Johnson & Johnson is recalling five Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products.
  • An investigation found small amounts of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, in the sunscreen.
  • J&J said use of the products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is recalling five Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products after tests revealed small amounts of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical.

The company announced the recall on Wednesday, noting that most of its spray sunscreens were affected. J&J is asking consumers to stop using:

  1. Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  2. Neutrogena CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  3. Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen
  4. Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.
  5. Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

J&J said the move is out of an “abundance of caution,” and that daily exposure to benzene at such low levels would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. Retailers will be notified to stop selling the products and return them to J&J.

The move comes just over a month after a lab singled out these products among 40 other sunscreen products as risky, saying they were contaminated with benzenes.

Valisure, a pharmaceutical testing company, tested 294 batches of sunscreen from 69 different brands. The other benzene-containing sunscreens included some products by Banana Boat, Walgreens, and CVS Health.

J&J said it tested the sunscreens in an independent laboratory to corroborate the results, and is now investigating how the chemical made its way into the products.

Repeated exposure to the benzene in large amounts is linked to cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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