Neutrogena Beach Defense and Ultra Sheer aerosol spray sunscreens recalled due to elevated benzene levels

Starting date:
July 17, 2021
Type of communication:
Advisory
Subcategory:
Drugs
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Product Safety
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-76047

Last updated:

Summary

  • Product: Neutrogena Beach Defense and Ultra Sheer sunscreens, for adults and children, in aerosol spray format.
  • Issue: Johnson & Johnson Inc. is recalling all lots of Beach Defense and Ultra Sheer aerosol spray sunscreens due to elevated levels of benzene, which may pose serious health risks after long-term, repeated use.
  • What to do: Stop using the recalled products. Consult a health care professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns. Continue using other sunscreen as directed on the product label.

Issue

Johnson & Johnson Inc. is recalling all lots of Neutrogena Beach Defense and Ultra Sheer children and adult sunscreens, in aerosol spray format, after testing conducted by the company detected elevated levels of benzene. Frequent and long-term exposure (e.g., through the skin and by inhalation) to elevated levels of benzene may pose serious health risks.

Humans are exposed to benzene in the air (e.g., by inhaling car exhaust, second-hand tobacco smoke and industrial emissions). We can also be exposed by swallowing benzene or absorbing it through the skin (e.g., through contact with contaminated water). Immediate signs of exposure to elevated levels of benzene include drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and headaches. While there is no safe level of benzene, long-term (over a year or more) and repeated exposure to elevated levels of benzene may lead to serious health effects, including various forms of cancer such as leukemia, anemia (low red blood cells), and bone marrow failure.

The potential issue was identified by testing conducted by Valisure (an independent U.S. quality assurance company) that detected elevated levels of benzene in several sunscreen and after-sun products in the U.S., including Johnson & Johnson Inc. products. Health Canada is aware that recalls are taking place in the U.S. for the same reason.

The safety of health products that Canadians rely on is a priority for Health Canada. Of the products tested by Valisure, Health Canada has followed up with companies on the higher-risk products (2 parts per million (ppm) benzene and above) that are also authorized in Canada. Health Canada's assessment is ongoing. This includes determining if sunscreens and other types of products (i.e. after-sun products) sold by other companies may be affected in Canada, and evaluating the issue to identify potential causes and risk mitigation measures.

Health Canada emphasises that it is important that people continue to use sunscreen to protect themselves from sun damage. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause cancer and other skin effects.

Health Canada recommends broad-spectrum sunscreen (one that provides protection from both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays) with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn and to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Anyone with a known history of severe reactions to sunlight should stay out of the sun as much as possible and always use sunscreen and other sun-protective measures.

If additional products or safety concerns are identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians.

Affected products

Product Name DIN Lot # Expiration Date
Neutrogena Beach Defense Kids SPF 60 Spray 02420953 05220E01 01/2022
03020E05 12/2021
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 30 02486474 09021E04 02/2023
01821E01 12/2022
04721E02 01/2023
04920E09 01/2022
28920E12 09/2022
29819E03 09/2021
29919E03 09/2021
33520E13 10/2022
33620E13 10/2022
33819E05 11/2021
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 30 02301563 33718F05 11/2021
33818F04 11/2021
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 45 02487942 30119E04 09/2021
29919E04 09/2021
35219E06 11/2021
29420E05 09/2022
01921E02 12/2022
35319E06 11/2021
09221E04 03/2023
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 45 02301571 33218F18 10/2021
33418F19 10/2021
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 60 02502526 08821E01 02/2023
08621E01 02/2023
13121E01 04/2023
29520E04 09/2022
29620E04 09/2022
29620E05 09/2022
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 60 02334542 07720E01 02/2022
07620E01 02/2022
35219E03 11/2021
31819E02 10/2021
29819E01 09/2021
29719E01 09/2021
31719E02 10/2021

What you should do

Health Canada advises consumers, including parents and caregivers to:

  • Stop using the recalled products. Consult a health care professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns.
  • Continue using other sunscreen as directed on the product label.
  • Contact Johnson & Johnson Inc. by calling, toll-free, 1-800-458-1673, if you have questions about the recall.
  • Report any health product-related side effects or complaints to Health Canada.

Health Canada strongly encourages the use of sunscreens to protect against harmful UV radiation and provides general sun safety tips as well as safety tips for parents.

Images

Neutrogena Beach Defense Kids SPF 60 Spray

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 30 (DIN 02486474)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 30 (DIN 02301563)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 45 (DIN 02487942)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 45 (DIN 02301571)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 60 (DIN 02502526)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 60 (DIN 02334542)

Media Enquiries: Également disponible en français
Health Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Public Enquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709
hcinfo.infosc@canada.ca


Images

Select thumbnail to enlarge - opens in a new window