Johnson & Johnson Recalls Tons of Neutrogena Sunscreens Over Contamination Concerns. 16 JULY (Reuters) – After Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) announced it had discovered a cancer-causing ingredient in some samples, pharmacy chains CVS Health (CVS.N), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O), and retailer Walmart Inc (WMT.N) began withdrawing Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) sunscreen products from their shelves.
J&J voluntarily recalled five Neutrogena and Aveeno brand aerosol sunscreens on Wednesday, advising consumers to cease using and discard the items after internal testing revealed low quantities of benzene in some of the sprays.
The recall comes two months after online pharmacy Valisure filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alleging that levels of benzene in over a dozen items that give protection or relief from sunburns, such as sprays and lotions, were higher than recommended.
Walmart announced on Thursday that it had begun removing the impacted items from its stores and that consumers who had purchased them could return them for a refund. CVS and Walgreens stated they were following the recall’s instructions.
CVS also stated that sales of two of its sunburn-relieving medications, which were mentioned in Valisure’s petition, had been discontinued. Fruit of the Earth and Sunbum, two privately held companies, were also discovered to have benzene levels above the permissible range.
Reuters reached out to the two companies for comment, but they did not answer right away.
Benzene is a chemical that, depending on the quantity and extent of exposure, has the potential to cause cancer.
J&J, whose stock fell 1.2 percent to $168.37, said benzene is not an ingredient in its sunscreen products and that the source of the contamination is being investigated.
According to the business, “daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels discovered in our research would not be expected to have severe health implications.”
Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, and Aveeno Protect + Refresh are among the J&J sunscreens that have been recalled.
A J&J representative said the business is in communication with other regulatory bodies about the recall, and that Wednesday’s notification was only for the voluntary action taken in the United States.
J&J, one of the world’s leading suppliers of consumer health products, has suffered yet another setback as a result of the recall. The firm has already been hit with a slew of litigation over talc, vaginal mesh implants, and opiate medicines.
Some sunscreen components are absorbed into the bloodstream, according to a 2020 study by experts at the FDA, which also regulates sunscreens as cosmetic goods. These ingredients should be examined to check if they are safe. It suggested a rule requiring sunscreen manufacturers to publish extra information on their products’ active components.
According to FDA spokesperson Jeremy Kahn, “the FDA examines and assesses the information given in these citizen petitions and, in general, launches an independent testing and verification process.”
According to Kahn, the FDA collaborates with producers in the event that its testing raises any safety concerns.
Valisure has filed many complaints with the FDA regarding the existence of carcinogens in medications, including the diabetes medication metformin, which the FDA later recalled.
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