Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that the company is recalling five of its popular, briskly selling sunscreen products after finding they contain low levels of benzene. Benzene is a dangerous chemical that has been found to cause cancer with repeated exposure. The nature of benzene and the fact that people use sunscreen time and again resulted in red flags and the manufacturer issuing the immediate recall.
Five Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen Products Subject to Recall
The immediate recall impacts five specific sunscreen products sold by Johnson & Johnson:
- Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen
All of these brands are distributed and sold across the United States. These products do come in different sizes and with different SPF levels. All sizes and SPF derivations are included in the recall.
What is Benzene?
Many people may have heard of benzene but be uncertain about any specifics about the potentially hazardous chemical. Benzene is a highly flammable that is widely utilized. When used in appropriate situations, benzene presents no direct threat to the health and welfare of people. However, when benzene contaminates a consumer product like sunscreen, a health hazard exists.
Benzene can cause cancer when a person experiences repeated exposure to the chemical. Benzene has the potential to damage a person’s immune system, prevent the proper functioning of cells in an individual’s body, and cause cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The impact of benzene exposure varies from person to person. An individual can suffer the negative consequences of benzene if the chemical is inhaled, ingested, or ends up on an person’s clothing or skin. Early symptoms of benzene exposure include:
- Irregular heartbeat
Repeated exposure to benzene at high levels can result in death.
Johnson & Johnson Statement About Sunscreen Recall
Johnson & Johnson issued a statement at the time of the sunscreen recall. In that statement, the manufacturer did note that “use of these products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.” Nonetheless, the company recalled all of these brands “out of an abundance of caution.”
Johnson & Johnson did emphasize that consumers needed to stop using these products immediately. The company made clear that consumers need to use alternate sunscreens to protect themselves from the harm exposure to the sun can cause, including the skin cancer melanoma.
Johnson & Johnson Recall Information
Johnson & Johnson has set up a hotline consumers can call to get a refund for sunscreen products subject to the immediate recall: (800) 458-1673. Consumers can also obtain more information about the contaminated products at both the Neutrogena and Aveeno websites.
Johnson & Johnson advised that it discovered benzene contamination in the company’s sunscreen products via testing conducted by an independent laboratory. Evidently, the company does conduct regular independent monitoring of its sunscreen products.
As of this time, Johnson & Johnson is unsure how benzene ended up in five of its sunscreen brands. With that said, the company stated that it has launched an investigation into how its sunscreen products ended up containing benzene. In addition, the company has notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, of its voluntarily initiated recall.
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