In a laudable move, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson is recalling five Neutrogena and Aveeno brand aerosol sunscreen products. The voluntary action derives from the detection of a carcinogen or cancer-causing chemical in several samples.
The company has urged customers to immediately stop using the products and dispose of them. Internal testing has shown mild but detectable levels of benzene in some samples. Distributors and retailers are currently receiving notifications from J&J to stop selling the products while arranging for their return in order to be safe than sorry.
The carcinogenic agent, benzene, is capable of causing cancer when present at sufficiently high levels following prolonged exposure. According to J&J, benzene is not an ingredient in its sunscreen products and it is actively seeking to identify the source of the contamination.
An official company statement said that daily exposure to the organic compound benzene in aerosol sunscreen products were quite negligible and should not lead to adverse health consequences. The affected aerosol sunscreen products include Aveeno Protect+ Refresh, Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena, Cool Dry Spot, and Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense.
Those who have used the products should schedule visits with their physician or healthcare provider to address any concerns or questions regarding their experience while using these products.
As a world leader in consumer health products, this recall represents another huge blow for the Johnson & Johnson brand. A trusted name in the industry, it has recently had to fight billions of dollars in potential court fines and settlements due to damages claims resulting from its baby powder, opioid painkillers, and vaginal mesh implants.
Besides, production problems and reported rare side effects have stoppered its vaccine rollout . These side effects include the Guillain-Barré Syndrome and a blood clotting condition that’s potentially life-threatening.
While US regulators prefer to highlight the many positives of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead of its few negatives, this benzene-in-sunscreen development may have significant repercussions on the Johnson & Johnson brand.
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