Johnson & Johnson is recalling most of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens from U.S. stores after detecting benzene, a potentially cancer-causing chemical, in some samples.
J&J said Wednesday consumers should stop using and discard five of its six Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens. The company said it is also notifying distributors and retailers to stop selling the products, and arranging for the return of the products.
A company spokesman said the effort would include removing products from shelves.
The New Brunswick, N.J., company said it doesn’t use benzene in the manufacturing of the spray sunscreens and is investigating the cause of the contamination. The company is in touch with regulatory agencies in other countries about the issue, the spokesman said.
J&J, one of the world’s biggest sellers of consumer-health products by sales, didn’t say how many bottles were affected and what the exact benzene levels were, though J&J said the levels were low and not expected to cause health issues.
The spray products affected, J&J said, are sold as Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer and Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreens.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products,” the company said.
The company sells one other spray sunscreen product, Neutrogena Wet Skin, which isn’t affected, J&J said.
Benzene is a chemical that can cause cancer after high levels of exposure. High levels of exposure can also have more immediate effects, including dizziness, confusion and rapid or irregular heartbeats.