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When we go to the beach or the pool for a relaxing day or even when we go to work outside, most of us use some form of sun protection, often including sunscreen, on ourselves and our children and other loved ones. Many were recently shocked to find out that some of our nation’s most trusted brands were recalling extremely popular sunscreen products due to the identification of benzene, a cancer-causing toxin, contained in them. Benzene is a highly flammable and volatile chemical compound classified as a human carcinogen, which means it can potentially cause cancer depending upon the level and extent of exposure. If any of us had known a cancer-causing substance was in these sunscreen products, we would have used another product entirely – and this is why there is now a nationwide benzene sunscreen recall.

Which Sunscreen Products Can Cause Cancer?

In response to multiple mainstream media outlets revealing the dark secrets of the ingredients used by sunscreen manufacturers, on July 14, 2021, Johnson & Johnson announced a voluntary recall of five Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen product lines. The company’s own internal testing identified benzene in these products. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consumers should stop using these specific products and appropriately discard them. The affected products include:

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

In addition to the J&J recall, Valisure LLC tested and detected high levels of benzene (equal to or greater than 0.11 average ppm) in several additional brands and products, including:

  • Sun Bum Cool Down Gel
  • Sun Burnt Advanced After-Sun Gel
  • CVS Health After-Sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray
  • CVS Health After-Sun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
  • CVS Health Ultra Sheer
  • Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel
  • Raw Elements Eco Formula Sunscreen Lotion
  • Goodsense Sunscreen Lotion
  • Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen C-Spray
  • Banana Boat UltraMist Deep Tanning Dry Oil Continuous Clear Spray
  • Banana Boat Ultra Sport Clear Sunscreen Spray
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen Lotion
  • TopCare Everyday Ultimate Sheer Sunscreen Lotion
  • EltaMD UV Aero Broad Spectrum Full-Body Sunscreen Spray

How Dangerous is Benzene in Sunscreen?

Benzene is not an ingredient that is added to sunscreen or listed on the products’ labels, but it has been found in several sunscreen and after-sun products, likely due to manufacturing problems. Not all sunscreens have tested positive, but some have been found to contain three-times the FDA permitted concentration limit, which is extremely concerning especially to regular users.

Benzene-contaminated sunscreens pose a risk for unintentional absorption over time, even if the exact risk threshold for skin isn’t clear currently. Benzene works by causing cells not to work correctly. Potential side effects could result from chronic exposure over a long period of time, which could lead to increased risk for blood disorders like anemia or leukemia and other cell-based cancers. More plainly said, sunscreen that contains benzene could cause cancer since samples of popular sunscreen brands tested by Valisure detected and found unsafe levels of benzene can exist in sunscreen products.

When sunscreen containing benzene is applied to the skin, the body absorbs it and the chemical enters the bloodstream, where it can cause cancers such as acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dax F. Garza, P.C. is investigating cancer cases linked to sunscreens with unsafe levels of benzene. If you or a loved one used a contaminated sunscreen and developed cancer (such as leukemia or lymphoma), our lawyers can help you get justice and financial compensation.

The short-term effects of benzene exposure can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach irritation
  • Tremors
  • Unconsciousness

The major effect of long-term benzene exposure of over a year or more is on the blood. Benzene affects an exposed person’s bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene also causes cancer like leukemia and cancers in the blood-forming organs.

Benzene Sunscreen Recall Lawyers

High levels of benzene, a known carcinogen, have been detected in several brands and batches of popular sunscreens and other related products. Benzene exposure has been linked to cancer and other illnesses. You put your trust in brands known worldwide as safe and effective only to learn that trust was misplaced and you potentially put yourself and others at risk by using their products.

Dax F. Garza, P.C. has the experience and resources needed to represent clients throughout the country in consumer product cases like these. If you or a loved one have regularly used sunscreen and been diagnosed with cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma, we can help, so contact us today.

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