Sunscreen Recall Due to Presence of Cancer-Causing Benzene
Johnson & Johnson has recalled several Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens after tests identified the presence of benzene, a known carcinogen. Benzene is an industrial chemical usually found in crude oil, cigarette smoke, plastic manufacturing, and pesticides. It has been linked to cancer and other illnesses.
The recalled sunscreens are packaged in aerosol cans and include:
- Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol
- Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol
- Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol
These sunscreens were distributed nationwide through a variety of retailers. Consumers have been advised to stop using the above products and discard them. Several people have filed claims against Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena, and Aveeno after using the above sunscreens and being diagnosed with cancer.
As benzene is a known human carcinogen, its presence in sunscreen is especially troubling, as these products are highly recommended for skin cancer prevention and are regularly used and reapplied by both adults and children in large volumes.
If you used a contaminated Aveeno or Neutrogena sunscreen and have been diagnosed with cancer, Anapol Weiss can help you get answers. Call our firm at (866) 670-4704 for a free, confidential consultation. There is no obligation when you contact us. We will be able to explain your legal rights and the next steps toward holding the manufacturers accountable.
Independent Testing Found Benzene Contamination
Valisure, an online pharmacy that conducts independent testing, filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA on May 24, 2021, alerting the agency to the presence of dangerous levels of benzene in numerous sunscreens.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), protective equipment should be worn by individuals expecting to be exposed to benzene at concentrations of 0.1 ppm. Valisure found multiple sunscreen products that contain levels of benzene that significantly exceed 0.1 ppm. Based on Valisure’s testing, 78 product batches of sunscreens and sun care products had detectable levels of benzene, 26 contained benzene in concentrations between 0.1 ppm and 2.0 ppm, and 14 contained over 2 ppm. These findings are especially concerning, as a significant amount of sunscreen ingredients absorb through the skin and are found in the blood.
Valisure has tested many sunscreen products that did not contain detectable levels of benzene, which suggests that benzene use is entirely avoidable.
Injuries from Benzene Contamination in Sunscreen
Exposure to benzene has long been associated with cancer. In fact, a 1939 study noted that exposure over a long period of time in any concentration is unsafe. Further, a 2010 review of benzene research specifically stated that ‘there is probably no safe level of exposure to benzene.”
As sunscreen products are typically used in a much higher volume than other standard drug products, even a relatively low concentration of benzene can result in very high total exposure.
The injuries which may stem from benzene exposure include:
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is the strongest linked cancer to benzene exposure. AML is found in the blood and bone marrow, which is where blood cells are made. Other names for acute myelogenous leukemia are: acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, and acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.
Any of the above cancers can be deadly. Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries should have adequately tested their products before putting them on the market to prevent the risk of cancer to users. Now, victims are filing claims against the companies to hold them accountable for their failure to protect the public from harm.
A recalled sunscreen claim can seek compensation for financial losses including:
- Medical bills related to cancer,
- Lost earnings from being too ill to work, and
- Pain and suffering.
Filing a claim also sends a message to manufacturers that they must do their due diligence to produce safe products and adequately warn of any associated risks.
Get Experienced Legal Help from Anapol Weiss
The Unsafe Drug and Medical Device Team at Anapol Weiss is investigating cases on behalf of patients who have been diagnosed with one of the above cancers after using sunscreen products containing unsafe levels of benzene. Our firm has a decades-long track record of success in standing up to large corporations whose products have harmed unsuspecting people.
If you used a recalled Neutrogena or Aveeno sunscreen and have been diagnosed with cancer, the attorneys at Anapol Weiss can help you get answers. Call our firm at (866) 670-4704 for a free, confidential consultation. There is no obligation when you contact us. We will be able to explain your legal rights and the next steps toward holding the manufacturers accountable.