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Johnson & Johnson Recalls Spray Sunscreens for Presence of Benzene

Federal Jury Hits J&J with $247 Million Verdict in Hip Implant Trial

Johnson & Johnson is issuing a product defect recall for most of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens from U.S. stores after detecting a potentially cancer-causing chemical in some product samples.  The manufacturer found contaminant traces of the high-risk chemical benzene in some products. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the pharmaceutical giant has said consumers should stop using and discard five of its six Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens.

Details of the Recall

The company said it is also notifying distributors and retailers to stop selling the product and arranging for the return of the products. A company spokesman said the effort would include removing products from shelves. J&J has said it does not use benzene in manufacturing the spray sunscreens and is looking into how the contamination occurred.

Spray products affected by this recall include Neutrogena Beach Defense, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport, Neutrogena Invisible Daily, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, and Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreens.

This recall came after Valisure, an online pharmacy, said it found high levels of benzene in 24 sunscreens and sun care products. Valisure petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove the products, which included some of the sunscreens recalled by J&J. Benzene is a chemical that could potentially cause cancer when the levels of exposure are high. When exposed to high levels of benzene, individuals could suffer symptoms including dizziness, confusion, and rapid or irregular heartbeats.

More than ten years ago, manufacturing issues prompted J&J to pull Tylenol, Benadryl, and other over-the-counter medicines, many of them for kids. More recently, the company has been facing product liability lawsuits alleging its baby powder made with talc causes cancer or mesothelioma and that the company failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with using the product, which many have alleged is contaminated with asbestos.

Product Liability Issues

Manufacturers of consumer products are responsible for ensuring that the products they put on the market are safe. When products that protect consumers hurt them, manufacturers can be held liable for the damages caused.

Victims in such cases may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer can advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.


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California Personal Injury Blog