Johnson & Johnson Recalls Sunscreen After Finding Traces of Carcinogens
Johnson & Johnson (J & J) announced on July 14 that it is recalling some of its most popular sunscreens, advising consumers to stop using these products immediately. The company found traces of benzene in some of its aerosol sunscreens. Long-term exposure to benzene can cause blood cancer like leukemia.
What Products Are Included in The Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen Recall?
The sunscreens that are part of the J & J recall are aerosols or spray-on sunscreens. Lotions are not part of the recall. The recall includes all can sizes and SPFs of the following products:
- Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen
J & J advises consumers to dispose of these products and find alternative sunscreen products. The company stated that it is working with retailers to remove the five sunscreens from their inventories. J & J also stated that consumers can request refunds for the recalled sunscreens they purchased by calling their customer care center.
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a chemical that is classified as a known carcinogen. This means benzene causes cancer in humans.
People can manufacture benzene, but nature is also a source of benzene. For example, benzene is created and used widely to make other products like plastics, synthetic fibers, lubricants, drugs, pesticides, and detergents. Benzene is also a natural part of forest fires, crude oil, and gasoline. One of the most significant and most dangerous sources of benzene is cigarette smoke.
Why is Benzene Dangerous?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause immediate, severe health problems. Inhaling high levels of benzene can immediately result in drowsiness, headaches, dizziness, tremors, unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and even death.
Ingesting something containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, convulsions, irritation of the stomach lining, and the conditions listed above.
Long-term exposure to benzene can cause various illnesses that affect the blood, including leukemia and anemia.
Studies have also shown that women who experience long-term exposure to benzene can have irregular menstrual cycles and shrunken ovaries.
Are Consumers in Danger Because of Benzene in Recalled Sunscreen?
J & J alleges that benzene is not an ingredient in the recalled sunscreens, although benzene is an ingredient permitted if certain requirements are met. J & J is conducting additional testing to determine how benzene got into the sunscreen products that were contaminated.
J & J urges consumers to remain calm, telling them that they are not in danger if they have used the products before the recall. In a statement, the company said, “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.”
J & J insists that the recall of Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen is out of an “abundance of caution,” not because of any immediate threat to consumers.
Interestingly, this J & J recall comes in the wake of Valisure, an independent research company, filing a citizens petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the petition, Valisure requested the recall of many sunscreens and after-sun care products after it found unsafe levels of benzene in some samples. Valisure also asked the FDA to review policies about using benzene in drugs and cosmetics, suggesting that it should not be permitted at all.
About Alonso Krangle, LLP
Alonso Krangle, LLP, has lawyers with experience handling cases involving injuries from recalled products, drugs, and medical devices. When a manufacturer like J & J creates and sells products that are unsafe and can cause harm, injured victims might have the right to file lawsuits to collect damages.
Call us today at 800-403-6191 to determine if you are entitled to seek compensation if you suffered injuries because of dangerous drugs, defective products, or dangerous medical devices.