Johnson & Johnson is recalling five of its sunscreen products after low levels of benzene found in some samples. Benzene is a chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure.
UPDATE: Johnson & Johnson has been sued after the pharmaceutical giant announced its recalling five of its sunscreen products due to the presence of a cancer-causing chemical in some samples. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California by Johanna Dominguez and Sharron Meijer, seeks an injunction and damages on behalf of consumers who purchased the affected products.
Johnson & Johnson is recalling its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens in the United States after some samples revealed the presence of benzene, a potentially carcinogenic chemical.
“While benzene is not an ingredient in any of our sunscreen products, it was detected in some samples of the impacted aerosol sunscreen finished products. We are investigating the cause of this issue, which is limited to certain aerosol sunscreen products,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The sunscreen products that have been recalled come in aerosol cans. Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen is one of them, as are four Neutrogena sunscreen options: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen, and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.
“Consumers should stop using these specific products and appropriately discard them,” the statement said.
The company, which is one of the world’s largest sellers of consumer health products in terms of sales, also stated that it is notifying distributors and retailers to stop selling the products and arranging for their return.
Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that, depending on the level and extent of exposure, has the potential to cause cancer. It is ubiquitous in the environment, and humans all over the world are exposed to it on a daily basis, both indoors and outdoors, from a variety of sources. To varying degrees, benzene can be absorbed through inhalation, skin absorption, and oral absorption.