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Select Neutrogena and Aveeno Sunscreens Withdrawn Due to Traces of Cancer-Causing Chemical

Bettina Dizon
Jul 21, 2021
11:00 A.M.
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Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. voluntarily recalled aerosol products from their brands, Neutrogena and Aveeno, after low traces of a human carcinogen were found in some bottles.

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Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI) released a statement regarding their voluntary recall after low levels of Benzene were found in five of their Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products.

The aerosol sunscreen products included in the recall are Neutrogena's Beach Defense, Cool Dry Sport, Invisible Daily, and Ultra Sheer. Meanwhile, the Aveeno product impacted is the Protect + Refresh.

Sunscreen on a scenic location. | Source: Pixabay

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WHAT BENZENE IS

Classified as a human carcinogen, Benzene is a chemical that could cause cancer, anemia, and immune system damage when heavily exposed for a long time.

Although naturally found in the environment, Benzene can be detrimental to one's health. As such, it is not an ingredient in producing sunscreen, yet somehow, it found its way to JJCI's product line.

"Based on exposure modeling and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) framework, 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," the company said.

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THE INVESTIGATION

JJCI is currently investigating the issue and assured consumers that the colorless chemical had only been found on specific aerosol sunscreen products distributed nationwide.

As an act of precaution, the company called consumers to stop using the contaminated products and contact the JJCI Consumer Care Center for questions and refund requests.

JJCI had also notified retailers and distributors that carry their products to discontinue the sale of such items. Nevertheless, the company still deems it necessary to use sunscreen for skin protection.

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SUNSCREEN RECOMMENDATIONS

New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe particularly recommends gel, cream, and lotion-based sunscreen compared to aerosol products. In an interview with "Good Morning America" the medical professional said:

"It's actually very difficult to get an even application of the spray, and there are some theoretical concerns when it comes to inhalation as well."

Bowe believes the benefits of using sunscreen outweigh the risks as ultraviolet rays from the sun are also carcinogens and can be more harmful than not applying sunscreen.

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WARNING AGAINST SUNSCREENS

In May, another New York-based dermatologist, Dr. Michelle Henry, warned the public against an unsafe TikTok hack, which used sunscreen as face contour.

The hack by Eli Withrow, which received over 12 million views, claimed that using SPF30 and SPF90 instead of a highlighter will leave a contoured look after sun exposure. However, Henry said:

"Any sun exposure can increase the risk for skin cancer. UV is a known carcinogen and not a natural source of contouring the skin."

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TikTok has become a widely popular app that quickly spreads short videos on hacks and tutorials, among other things. Celebrities also utilize the app to share content with their fans, including "Sister, Sister" star Tia Mowry.

The actress recently shared a get-ready-with-me video where her glam team dolled her up and fixed her hair, outfit, and makeup. Such content can give fans ideas on how to style themselves as well.

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