Sunscreen manufacturers withdraw products found to contain a cancer-causing substance
The sunscreen aisle has been affected by recalls of drugs containing carcinogens (substances that cause cancer). Johnson & Johnson recalled five aerosol sunscreen products and CVS discontinued two sunscreen products in July 2021 due to the presence of the carcinogen benzene. The FDA initiated the investigation when an online pharmacy identified benzene levels in dozens of sunscreen products and contacted the agency. Additionally, the same pharmacy (Valisure LLC) was responsible for testing that resulted in the recall of heartburn and diabetic medications in 2019 and 2020 due to the presence of the carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine. Johnson & Johnson officials claim that benzene is not a sunscreen ingredient and confirm that subsequent testing discovered benzene in select products at levels expected to pose no health hazards.
Nonetheless, the products should be discontinued immediately, including the majority of Neutrogena spray sunscreens and one Aveeno product (Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen). CVS Health After Sun Aloe Vera Gel and Spray is no longer available. However, avoid completely avoiding sunscreen; rather, explore with a variety of products.
Excessive sun exposure, especially in October, is harmful and increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Before going outside, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) to any exposed skin.