J & J Recalls 5 Aerosol Sunscreens

There is plenty of summer sunshine left to enjoy this season and spending time outdoors in nature offers many health benefits including an immune-boosting dose of Vitamin D.  But it’s important to protect skin from damaging rays with daily broad-spectrum sunscreens of at least an SPF 30 – and check that you are not using one of the recently recalled aerosol sunscreen products

According to a new AARP Health report, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has voluntarily recalled five of its aerosol sunscreen products sold under the Neutrogena and Aveeno brands after low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, was found in some samples.  The products included in the recall are: 

  • 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

J & J states that at the levels of benzene found in the products, adverse health consequences are not expected even with daily exposure.  But as a precaution, consumers who purchased these sunscreens are advised to stop using them and can contact Customer Care at (800-458-1673)  with any questions or to request a refund. 

Inhaling high levels of benzene can cause benzene poisoning and long-term exposure can harm the bone marrow, leading to anemia.  The toxin is also associated with hormonal changes in women, leukemia, and cancer in blood-forming organs.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of benzene poisoning from inhaling high levels of the chemical can include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

Seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms are present following exposure.  Benzene exposure also can occur in indoor environments from products such as glues, furniture wax, and some detergents.  Always use these types of products in a well-ventilated space.