As previously mentioned in our June 2021 article, “Are Benzene Contaminated Sunscreens Safe to Use?“, popular sunscreen manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson has issued a voluntary recall of five Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s July 2021 Safety Notice, the company conducted internal testing, which detected low levels of benzene in five of the Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen product lines:
The only sunscreen products impacted are aerosol products, specifically:
- NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen,
- NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen,
- NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen,
- NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen, and
- AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.
Sunscreen Recall: Johnson and Johnson’s Stance
Johnson and Johnson released a public statement on July 14, 2021, regarding the recent recall and assuring customers the situation is being handled:
Based on exposure modeling and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) framework, daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products.
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.
While sunscreen is essential to public health and protecting your skin against harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer, the presence of benzene in some of these products is concerning. Benzene is a known carcinogen, and in high levels with prolonged exposure the chemical is known to cause acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) as well as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Oftentimes, due to the so-called “latency period”, the diagnosis of AML or MDS will likely be made many years after the exposure to benzene.
According to the FDA, the levels of Benzene detected in the aerosol sunscreen brands affected by this recall are not high enough to be expected to cause adverse health consequences.
As always, we will continue to monitor the issues surrounding Benzene contamination, and will provide you with any new or relevant information.
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.