Johnson & Johnson Recalls 5 Sunscreens Over Cancer-Causing Chemicals

- Arnold & Itkin LLP

Last week, Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall of five aerosol sunscreen products they manufacture after detecting benzene in some samples. The five sunscreens represent all but one of Johnson & Johnson’s sunscreens in its Neutrogena and Aveeno product lines.

The recalled spray-on sunscreens include:

  • Neutrogena Beach Defense
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport
  • Neutrogena Invisible Daily
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer
  • Aveeno Protect + Refresh

The global manufacturing giant is telling its customers to discard these sunscreens, and it’s telling distributors and retailers to pull them from the shelves.

Why Johnson & Johnson Sunscreens Are Being Recalled

Valisure LLC, an online pharmacy, recently found high levels of benzene in 24 sunscreens and other sun protection products. It petitioned the FDA to pull these products from the shelves, and in response Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall. Valisure’s testing previously led to recalls of medications like Metformin or Zantac.

Benzene is a known cancer-causing chemical and is linked to blood cancers like leukemia. It’s also one of the 20 most-used chemicals in the country, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s used in the production of plastic, rubber, dyes, detergents, and drugs, to name a few.

However, Johnson & Johnson insists that it doesn’t use benzene to produce sunscreen spray. They will be investigating the cause of the contamination in light of Valisure’s discovery, in addition to the companies whose products were also determined to have benzene in them.

Public Loss of Trust in Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is in the news today for another product linked to cancer: talcum powder. Reports from inside the company say that J&J is considering putting a child company in bankruptcy to settle nearly 29,000 lawsuits over talcum powder’s link to ovarian cancer. This would also protect Johnson & Johnson from further talc-related litigation, as many consumer advocates have pointed out.

Despite tens of thousands of women testifying about their injuries and loss, the company continues to deny that its products caused ovarian cancer.

Our firm has brought multiple cases against Johnson & Johnson for both talcum powder and Risperdal, a medication that the company illegally marketed for use on children despite being untested. A jury in Pennsylvania awarded our client a historic $8 billion verdict for the company’s role in deliberately hiding Risperdal’s effect on developing bodies, a role we discovered through relentless investigation.

All of these developments have naturally made the public wary of Johnson & Johnson’s credibility, especially with regard to the safety of its products. The company has a history of denying wrongdoing, even as it pays out billions to the people harmed by its actions. Arnold & Itkin has been one of the leading firms in the country holding J&J accountable on behalf of its victims.

Our firm will be monitoring this situation as it develops. If anyone suspects that use of aerosol sunscreen exposed them to benzene, speak with us as soon as possible. Our Johnson & Johnson sunscreen lawyers can discuss what happened and how we can help in a free consultation.

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