Johnson & Johnson issued a recall on Wednesday for five aerosol sunscreen products after finding low amounts of a substance that could cause cancer with enough exposure.
Four Neutrogena products and one Aveeno product were recalled by the company because it found low levels of benzene in product samples.
Those products include Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen and Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.
J&J said benzene is not an ingredient used in its products, but “it was detected in some samples of the impacted aerosol sunscreen finished products.”
J&J said it was looking into how the substance got inside the product.
Benzene is found in crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke, and the outdoor air contains generally low levels of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
High levels of air exposure of benzene over a long period of time can lead to leukemia. People can take in benzene by breathing it in, orally or through the skin, J&J noted.
The company said that while exposure to the level of benzene found in their products would likely not pose health risks, they were being recalled “out of an abundance of caution.”
“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. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products,” the company said in its statement.
The company has asked customers to use alternative sunscreen products in the meantime to protect from excessive sun exposure.
J&J noted that the Food and Drug Administration is aware of the recall.