Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall on Wednesday for five spray sunscreens made under the Neutrogena and Aveeno labels, saying it had found low levels of benzene in the products.
The recall includes four Neutrogena aerosol sunscreens: Beach Defense, Cool Dry Sport, Invisible Daily and Ultra Sheer; and one Aveeno product: Protect + Refresh. The products were shipped nationwide and sold through a range of retail outlets.
Consumers are urged to stop using them immediately.
“Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure,” the company said in a statement, adding that modeling showed daily exposure to the low levels of the chemical in the impacted sunscreens “would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.”
However, “out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products,” it continued.
Customers can file a request for a refund directly with the company.
Johnson & Johnson said it doesn’t use benzene in its sunscreens and the company is still investigating how it appeared in these products. The substance can be absorbed through inhalation, orally or through the skin.
The company urged consumers to use other sunscreens after they dispose of the affected products.
“Sunscreen use is critical to public health. Melanoma incidences continue to increase worldwide, and the majority of cases are caused by excessive sun exposure,” the company said. “It is important that people everywhere continue to take appropriate sun protection measures, including the continued use of alternative sunscreen.”