Johnson & Johnson recalled several Neutrogena spray-on sunscreens after elevated Benzene was detected in many of the bottles.
Benzene is a component of gasoline, is highly flammable, and is frequently used for rubber and waxes. Long-term and frequent exposure to benzene carries health risks. Exposure can occur via inhalation, or through the skin. Benzene is not an ingredient in any of the Johnson & Johnson sunscreens, yet it was detected in the following sunscreens:
Neutrogena’s Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen, and Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen. As well as Aveeno’s Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-term and repeated exposure to the chemical at high enough levels can cause leukemia and other cancers. The company states that the recall is out of an abundance of caution, as the level of Benzene is not expected to cause adverse health consequences. They also add that the recall is for all SPF levels and sizes of the sunscreens listed above.
The company has immediately begun an investigation of the manufacturing process and raw materials used to determine how the contamination happened, and how to prevent this in the future. Administration of the recall announcement urges customers to immediately stop using the sunscreen products listed, dispose of them, and find alternative sun protection for the time being.