The company Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalls five sunscreen aerosol products of its subsidiary Neutrogena and its other subsidiary, Aveeno, following the detection of a carcinogenic chemical in certain samples.
The New Jersey-based company announced yesterday, Wednesday, that consumers should stop using the products and throw them away, following internal audits that found low benzene levels in some samples.
J&J also warns distributors and retailers to stop selling products and arrange for their return “Showing excessive prudence”.
Benzene has been classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer depending on the level and degree of exposure to it.
According to J&J, benzene is not an ingredient in its sunscreen products and the company is investigating the cause of the infection.
“Daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products and at the levels detected by our tests would not be expected to have serious consequences for human health,” the company said.
The recovered aerosol sunscreen products are: Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer and Aveeno Protect + Refresh.
Consumers should contact their doctor or pharmacist if they have any concerns, questions or health problems associated with using these products.
The recall is another blow to J&J, one of the world’s largest producers of consumer health products.
The company is already facing billions of dollars in potential litigation and out-of-court settlements following claims for damages related to its baby powder, mesh vaginal implants and opioid painkillers.
In addition, the availability of J&J coronavirus vaccines was delayed due to production problems, and the vaccine was associated with two very rare side effects: Guillain-Barré syndrome and a potentially life-threatening thrombosis.
US regulators have said the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.