Since childhood, most of us have been instructed to slather on sunscreen before heading out into the sun. Whether on the beach, the soccer field or simply gardening in the backyard, we believe we are protecting our skin from the ravages of skin cancer by using these oils, lotions and sprays to protect our delicate skin from sun damage and premature aging.
But recent reports question all of our knowledge on the subject of sunscreen safety. As it turns out, many different brands of tested sunscreens have been shown to contain benzene. There is no level of this known carcinogen that is considered safe for human usage. In fact, the National Cancer Institute states that “[e]xposure to benzene increases the risk of developing leukemia and other blood disorders.”
A voluntary recall is in progress
If you purchased sunscreen manufactured and sold by popular brands Aveeno and Neutrogena, it is possible that your product contains unsafe levels of the cancer-causing agent. Additionally, the national drug store chain CVS pulled two after-sun products off the shelves for the same reason.
Valisure, an independent testing lab, in response to a citizens’ petition, ran tests on 294 samples of 69 various sunscreens and after-sun products. Of that total, benzene was detected in 78 samples. Experts caution sun-worshippers not to toss the baby out with the bathwater and eschew using sunscreen to protect themselves from the dangerous rays of the sun, however.
Johnson & Johnson is involved in recall
“[O]ut of an abundance of caution,” Johnson & Johnson (J&J) — the parent company of at least two of these popular sunscreen brands — recalled all batches of the following products:
- Aveeno® Protect + Refresh aerosol
- Neutrogena® Beach Defense® aerosol
- Neutrogena® Ultra Sheer® aerosol
- Neutrogena® Cool Dry Sport aerosol
- Neutrogena® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol
Despite benzene not being an included ingredient in the above products, the company revealed its presence in the finished products sold to consumers. More information may be obtained by calling 203-896-4631.
Options for injured consumers
If you suffered illness or injuries after using a product you purchased, you may have grounds for filing a product liability lawsuit.