Alert: Johnson & Johnson Issues Recalls On Aveeno & Neutrogena Sunscreens Over a Potential Cancer-Causing Chemical

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday said it is recalling most of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens from U.S. stores after detecting benzene, a potentially cancer-causing chemical, in some samples.

J&J said people should stop using and discard five of its six Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens. The company said it is also telling distributors and retailers to stop selling the products.

Which Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products are being recalled?

  1. NEUTROGENA Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  2. NEUTROGENA Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  3. NEUTROGENA Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen,
  4. NEUTROGENA Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
  5. AVEENO Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

Why are they being recalled?

The recall came after an online pharmacy said it found high levels of benzene in 24 sunscreens and other suncare products. The pharmacy, Valisure LLC, petitioned the FDA to remove the products, including some of those recalled by J&J. The online pharmacy’s testing had previously led to recalls of popular heartburn drug Zantac and diabetes drug Metformin.

J&J said it doesn’t use benzene in the manufacturing of the spray sunscreens and is investigating the cause of the contamination.

What is benzene?
Benzene is a chemical that can cause cancer after high levels of exposure. High levels of exposure can also have more immediate effects, including dizziness, confusion and rapid or irregular heartbeats.

Do I need to worry if I’ve used this sunscreen?
J&J didn’t say how many bottles were affected and what the exact benzene levels were. But it said the levels were low and not expected to cause health issues. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.

Can I get a refund?
J&J says consumers may contact the company’s consumer care center with questions or to request a refund by clicking here or calling 1-800-458-1673.

How can I report adverse reactions or other problems with these sunscreens?
First, talk to your doctor. Reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of the recalled sunscreens may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

Source: J&J website + Wall Street Journal