Just in time for the summer beach season:  Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. has issued a voluntary recall that covers all lots of five Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products.  The concern is with "low levels of benzene" that have been identified in some sampling of the products.

While there have been no adverse reactions to the products at the present time - and, while the levels of benzene present in the sampling is "low", Johnson & Johnson is recalling the sunscreens due to the fact that the chemical has been classified as a human carcinogen - "a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of the exposure".

According to details released by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the company is investigating the source of the benzene in the sunscreens; that chemical component is not an ingredient in any of their sunscreen products so it's unclear how it came to be present in the samples.

Here's a list of what aerosol sunscreen products are included in the recall:

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

Complete information about the affected sunscreen products is available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website. Here's a look at the product containers:

Neutrogena website
Neutrogena website

While consumers should stop using the specific products involved with the recall, it's imperative that they continue to keep using sunscreen.  The FDA shares that "[s]unscreen use is critical to public health.  Melanoma incidences continue to increase worldwide, and the majority of cases are caused by excessive sun exposure.  It is important that people everywhere continue to take appropriate sun protection measures, including the continued use of alternative sunscreen".

Customers who have the specific aerosol sunscreen products from Johnson & Johnson  - sold under the brand names Neutrogena and Aveeno - should immediately stop using them. Contact the Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. Consumer Care Center with questions:  1-800-458-1673.

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Getty Images

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