Chattanooga Times Free Press

J&J recalls sunscreens after traces of benzene found

- BY LINDA A. JOHNSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it is recalling five of its sunscreen products after some samples were found to contain low levels of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure.

The affected products, packaged in aerosol cans, are Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four Neutrogena sunscreen versions: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.

The recall includes all can sizes and all levels of sun protection factor, or SPF. The products were distribute­d nationwide through retailers.

The health care giant said the benzene was found after testing by the company and an independen­t laboratory. It is investigat­ing how the chemical got into the products.

J&J said it’s working to get all lots of the five products removed from store shelves. It urged consumers to stop using the sunscreens immediatel­y and said customers can get a refund by calling J&J’s Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673. More informatio­n is available at the websites for Neutrogena and Aveeno.

J&J said in a statement that “use of these products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequenc­es” and that it voluntaril­y decided to recall them “out of an abundance of caution.” The statement added that people should use an alternate sunscreen to protect themselves from the skin cancer melanoma.

Benzene is a highly flammable, widely used chemical that’s present throughout the environmen­t. It can cause cancer with repeated exposure at high enough levels. It also can damage the immune system and prevent cells from functionin­g properly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The chemical’s effects vary by whether a person accidental­ly inhales or ingests it or gets it on skin and clothing. Symptoms range from dizziness and irregular heartbeat to convulsion­s and, at very high levels, death.

J&J, which is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, said it has notified the Food and Drug Administra­tion of the recall.

 ?? AP PHOTO/MATT SLOCUM ?? Cans of Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen are seen Thursday in Marple Township, Pa. Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday it was recalling five sunscreen products after a trace amount of a carcinogen was found in them.
AP PHOTO/MATT SLOCUM Cans of Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen are seen Thursday in Marple Township, Pa. Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday it was recalling five sunscreen products after a trace amount of a carcinogen was found in them.

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