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Johnson & Johnson recalls 5 sunscreen products because they have a carcinogen in them

Why did Johnson & Johnson recall sunscreens?

Cans of Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.
Cans of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen are seen on Thursday, July 15, 2021, in Marple Township, Pa. Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it has recalled five sunscreen products — including Neutrogena Ultra Sheer — because they contain benzene, which is a carcinogen.
Matt Slocum, Associated Press

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it has recalled five sunscreen products because they contain benzene, which is a carcinogen.

Which sunscreens are being recalled?

Here’s the full list of recalled products:

  • Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
  • Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

Customers should stop using sunscreen canisters immediately, the company said. The products are from Neutrogena and Aveeno only and cover all SPF levels.

What is benzene? What are carcinogens?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said heavy exposure to benzene can lead to leukemia or other cancers.

  • “The highly flammable chemical, which is colorless or slightly yellow, is regularly found throughout the United States in products such as gasoline, plastics, detergents, pesticides, drugs, nylon and synthetic fibers,” The New York Times reports.

Will I get cancer from these sunscreens?

However, Johnson & Johnson 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. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products.”