Aveeno and Neutrogena Spray Sunscreens Recalled Due to Low Levels of Benzene, a Carcinogen

Johnson & Johnson says it is issuing the recall 'out of an abundance of caution.' Coppertone has also recalled sunscreens that contain benzene.

Bottles of recalled Neutrogena and Aveeno Spray Sunscreens from Johnson & Johnson Source: Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health

Update: On Sept. 30, 2021, Coppertone recalled certain lots of its Pure & Simple SPF 50 Spray, Sport Mineral SPF 50 Spray, and Sport SPF 50 Spray (travel size) because it found that these products contain benzene. See the full list of recalled sunscreens.

Johnson & Johnson announced a voluntary recall of five Aveeno and Neutrogena aerosol sunscreen products after internal testing found low levels of benzene in some product samples.

People are regularly exposed to benzene via air pollution, cigarette smoke, and certain products, such as glue and paint. Benzene is considered a carcinogen, and long-term exposure can have effects throughout the human body. In the shorter term, breathing in benzene can cause dizziness, headaches, and other symptoms.

More on Sunscreen

According to a statement from Johnson & Johnson, the levels detected in the recalled sunscreens “would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” even with daily exposure. The company says it is recalling the products “out of an abundance of caution.” Benzene is not an ingredient in the sunscreen, and Johnson & Johnson is investigating how it ended up in the recalled products.

The Johnson & Johnson products being recalled, all aerosol sunscreens, are Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, and Aveeno Protect + Refresh. These products were distributed nationwide.

If you have any of these sunscreens, stop using them and throw them away. Call your doctor if you are concerned about any potential symptoms. If you think you’ve had an adverse reaction to one of these products, you can file a report with the Food and Drug Administration.

Wearing sunscreen is critical to protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So though you should stop using these recalled sunscreens if you have them, you should continue to cover up and wear sunscreen as well as a hat and sunglasses when you head outside. During the hottest part of the day, seek shade or stay indoors.

The Details

Products recalled: Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen, and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen.

The problem: Low levels of benzene were detected.

The fix: If you have these sunscreens, stop using them and throw them away.

How to contact the manufacturer: Call Johnson & Johnson at 800-458-1673 to request a refund or ask any questions. You can also request a refund using the company’s online form.