Target Removes J&J Sunscreens From Stores, Website

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
July 17, 2021 Updated: July 17, 2021

Target Corp said on Friday it has removed Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Neutrogena aerosol sunscreen products from its stores and website after the pharmaceutical company said it had detected a cancer-causing chemical in some samples.

Pharmacy chains CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and retailer Walmart Inc have also pulled J&J’s sunscreen off their shelves.

J&J on Wednesday voluntarily recalled five Neutrogena and Aveeno brand aerosol sunscreens and advised consumers to stop using the products and discard them after internal testing found low levels of benzene in some sprays.

The recall comes two months after online pharmacy Valisure filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), saying it had found levels of benzene that were higher than recommended in over a dozen products that provide protection or relief against sunburns, including sprays and lotions.

Walmart said on Thursday it had started removing the affected products and customers who had bought the items could return them for a refund. CVS and Walgreens said they were complying with the recall.

CVS added that it had also halted sales of two of its sunburn healing products, which were in Valisure’s petition. Other products found to have benzene above the recommended levels were from privately held Fruit of the Earth and Sunbum.

The two companies did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Sunscreen
Johnson’s Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen, which is part of a voluntary recall of five Neutrogena and Aveeno brand aerosol sunscreen products after a cancer-causing chemical was detected in some samples, sits on a shelf at a store in Gloucester, Mass., on July 15, 2021. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Benzene is classified as a substance that can potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure.

J&J said benzene is not an ingredient in its sunscreen products and it was investigating the cause of the contamination.

“Daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” the company said.

J&J’s recalled aerosol sunscreens are Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer and Aveeno Protect + Refresh.

The company is in contact with other regulatory agencies over the recall, a J&J spokesperson said, adding that Wednesday’s announcement was specific to the voluntary action taken in the United States.

Reuters
Reuters