PHARMACEUTICAL giant Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of five of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens.
The big pharma company said it found low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, in some samples.
Which Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens were recalled?
The recall was issued on July 15, as J&J said customers should stop using the affected sunscreens, which were distributed through stores nationwide.
The five recalled aerosol sunscreens include:
- Aveeno Protect+ Refresh aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen
- Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Benzene can cause leukemia or other cancers after long-term exposure to high levels.
J&J said it’s investigating how the chemical might have gotten into some of its products.
Despite the recall, the company cautioned that while using these products “would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences," it voluntarily moved to recall them "out of an abundance of caution.”
Can customers get a full refund if they recently purchased the defective sunscreens?
In their statement, J&J said customers could get a refund by calling their 24/7 Consumer Care Center at 1-800-458-1673.
"Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have any questions, concerns or have experienced any problems related to using these aerosol sunscreen products," the company said.
Is this the first time J&J recalls one of their items?
The announcement is the latest black mark for the company’s consumer unit, which has faced thousands of lawsuits in recent years alleging that its iconic talc-based baby powder is laced with asbestos and causes cancer or mesothelioma.
In 2020, J&J halted sales of the product and had recently socked away $3.9 billion to help cover the costs of the lawsuits.
In June 2021, the US Supreme Court rejected Johnson & Johnson’s bid to overturn a $2.1 billion verdict against it in favor of women who said the company’s talc products played a role in developing ovarian cancer.
On July 12, the CDC said J&J's coronavirus vaccine had been linked to an infrequent neurological disorder.
According to the CDC, of the more than 12million vaccine doses administered in the US, there have been around 100 reports of people developing Guillain-Barré syndrome.
In light of the newly documented risk, the Food and Drug Administration has updated the label of the vaccine to include a new warning: "Guillain-Barré Syndrome Reports of adverse events following use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine under emergency use authorization suggest an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the 42 days following vaccination."
Per the CDC, Guillain-Barré can cause numbness in the extremities and lead to full-body paralysis in the most severe cases, but most people recover.
Of the 100 or so cases reported about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, most were men aged 50 and older who developed the syndrome around two weeks after getting vaccinated.
In a statement, J&J reiterated that the chances of those who get the vaccine developing Guillain-Barré are "very low."
"The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority," that statement said.
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