J&J yanks sunscreens after testing uncovers cancer-causing chemical

July 15, 2021

J&J is voluntarily recalling a handful of its sunscreens after testing uncovered the presence of a potential carcinogen. 

According to the company, benzene, a potentially cancer-causing agent, was detected in five out of six of its sunscreens sold under the Neutrogena and Aveeno brand names. J&J said it doesn’t use the chemical in its manufacturing process and is working to figure out how the impurity got into the sprays.

The five impacted sunscreens are: Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, and Aveeno Protect + Refresh. The company said that customers should discontinue the use of the products and throw them away. They also plan to pull the sprays from stores around the country. 

J&J initiated the recall after an online pharmacy— Valisure LLC — said it found high levels of benzene in the sprays and reached out to the FDA. Valisure is also the same lab that discovered NDMA, another chemical linked to cancer, in ranitidine in 2019, setting off a massive wave of global recalls of the drug.