On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson issued information on a recall of five of its sunscreen product, after some samples were found to contain low levels of benzene, a chemical that is known to cause cancer with repeated exposure.
The recalled products that are packaged in aerosol cans, are 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 can sizes and all levels of sun protection factor, or SPF. The products were distributed nationwide through various retailers.
Johnson & Johnson said the benzene was found after testing by the company and an independent laboratory. They are currently investigating how the chemical got into the products.
Benzene is a highly flammable, widely used chemical that’s present throughout the environment. It can cause cancer with repeated exposure at high enough levels. It also can damage the immune system and prevent cells from functioning properly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Johnson & Johnson is working to get all of the five products removed from store shelves. It urged consumers to stop using the sunscreens immediately. Customers can get a refund by calling Johnson & Johnson Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673. Additional information is available on their websites for Neutrogena and Aveeno.
Johnson & Johnson 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 encouraged people to use an alternate sunscreen to protect themselves from the skin cancer melanoma.
Click here for more information on this recall.