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Johnson & Johnson is recalling five of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens after the company found low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, in some samples.
The company said customers should stop using the affected products, which were distributed through stores nationwide.
The recall covers the Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four Neutrogena sunscreens: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.
Benzene, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says can cause leukemia or other cancers after long-term exposure to high levels, is not an ingredient in the affected sunscreens, J&J noted.
The pharmaceutical giant said it’s investigating how the chemical might have gotten into some of its products.
“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,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products.”
J&J noted that the recall is voluntary and said it has notified the Food and Drug Administration of the recall.
The company said it’s working to pull all lots of the five products from shelves across the country.
It added that customers can get a refund by calling J&J’s Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673.
The announcement is the latest black mark for the company’s consumer unit, which has faced thousands of lawsuits in recent years alleging that its iconic talc-based baby powder is laced with asbestos and causes cancer or mesothelioma.
The company last year halted sales of the product and has recently socked away $3.9 billion to help cover the costs of the lawsuits.
Last month, the US Supreme Court rejected Johnson & Johnson’s bid to overturn a $2.1 billion verdict against it in favor of women who said the company’s talc products played a role in their developing ovarian cancer.
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