On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson announced that it is recalling five of its sunscreen products after some samples were found to contain low levels of benzene, a chemical that can potentially cause cancer with repeated exposure.
The products that have been recalled include Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four Neutrogena sunscreen versions: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen, and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen. The recall includes all aerosol can sizes and all levels of sun protection factor, or SPF.
In its announcement, J&J said it’s working to get all lots of the five products removed from store shelves. It urged consumers to stop using the sunscreens immediately and said customers can get a refund by calling J&J’s Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673. More information is available at the websites for Neutrogena and Aveeno.
As far as how the chemical got into the products is concerned, the company claimed that benzene was found after testing by the company and an independent laboratory. J&J said in a statement that “use of these products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences” and that it voluntarily decided to recall them “out of an abundance of caution.” The statement added that people should use an alternate sunscreen to protect themselves from the skin cancer ‘melanoma.’