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Johnson & Johnson Recalls 5 Aerosol Sunscreens After Finding Carcinogen Traces

Johnson & Johnson recalled five aerosol sunscreen products after finding traces of benzene. In this file photo, Collin Morikawa sprays himself with sunscreen during the Workday Championship golf tournament in February.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP via NPR
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Johnson & Johnson recalled five aerosol sunscreen products after finding traces of benzene. In this file photo, Collin Morikawa sprays himself with sunscreen during the Workday Championship golf tournament in February.

Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that the company is recalling five of its aerosol sunscreen products due to the discovery of trace amounts of benzene, a carcinogen, in some samples.

The company said consumers should stop using the affected cannisters, which include solely Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products. The recall covers all can sizes and SPF levels, which were distributed nationwide.

The specific products being recalled are:

  1. Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
  2. Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
  3. Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
  4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
  5. Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

Benzene is not an ingredient used in the sunscreens. The company said it's reviewing how the chemical might have gotten into certain samples.

Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can cause leukemia or other cancers.

"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," Johnson & Johnson said in its statement Wednesday. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products."

The company urged consumers to immediately stop using these particular sunscreens, dispose of the affected products and pick up alternate sun protection.

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