Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced it is recalling five of its sunscreen brands. Scientists found low levels of benzene — a carcinogenic — in samples of the brands in recent tests.
The company is recalling Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four Neutrogena sunscreen versions: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen; CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen; Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen; and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen. The recall includes all products, according to CBS News.
Pharmacy lab Valisure said it detected low levels of benzene in 78 of nearly 300 sprays and lotions tested. You can see the full list here. The list begins on page 12.
David Light, the founder and CEO of Valisure, urged manufacturers and consumers to take the matter seriously.
“Benzene is one of the most studied and concerning human carcinogens known to science. Its association with forming blood cancers in humans has been shown in numerous studies at trace levels of parts per million and below. The presence of this known human carcinogen in products widely recommended for the prevention of skin cancer and that are regularly used by adults and children is very troubling,” Light said in the company’s statement.
Johnson & Johnson said it is investigating how the chemical got into its products.
The company said that the products shouldn’t cause “adverse health consequences.” Adding, it was issuing the recall “out of an abundance of caution.”
If you purchased any of these aerosol sunscreens, Johnson & Johnson said to stop using them immediately. You should also call the company at 1-800-458-1673 for a refund.
Valisure also compiled a list of sunscreens it tested that did not contain benzene. You can find it here.
More Bad News for Johnson & Johnson
The FDA updated a warning label on the company’s coronavirus vaccine that says it may increase the risk of a rare rare neurological disorder. However, federal officials say Americans shouldn’t be alarmed.
The New York Times reported that the vaccine could increase the risk of contracting a rare neurological condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome. Though the likelihood of that happening remains low. However, regulators said the chances of getting the disorder are three to fives time higher among Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients. The J&J vaccine is one of three vaccines available in the United States.
Federal regulators say it is too low to make a causal link but issued the warning. Now, they fear more bad news about the coronavirus vaccine could erode the public’s trust in it. And the United States is at a critical time as the so-called Delta variant of the disease is causing increased hospitalizations across the nation.
“What worries me most is that it reinforces the lack of confidence that people had,” Dr. Steven Black, an emeritus professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the co-director of the Global Vaccine Data Network, told The Times. “They’ll say, ‘Aha, see, I was right.’ But they’re not right.”
This is the second warning the FDA has issued for the Johnson & Johnson shot. In April, regulators called for a halt in using the vaccine because it reportedly increased the risk for blood clots, the New York Times said.