Urgent recall: Popular sunscreen recalled over cancer-causing chemical

Aug 02, 2021
The sunscreen has been found to contain a harmful chemical. Source: Getty

The Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) has issued an urgent recall of a popular sunscreen, after the carcinogenic chemical benzene was detected in certain batches of product.

The TGA issued the urgent recall for the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ aerosol sunscreen on Monday, after the chemical was detected in certain batches being sold in Australia.

The authority said that bottles of the aerosol sunscreen, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd, with an expiry date of August 30, 2023, or earlier should not be used due to possible health risks linked to benzene.

The TGA said benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure. While the chemical is not a listed ingredient of the sunscreen, it is used in the manufacturing process.

Any unsold products are being removed from the market, however, anyone who has already purchased an affected item should discard the products and visit the Neutrogena website to request a refund.

Currently, the TGA limits the amount of benzene in products, stating that levels must be below a concentration of two parts per million (ppm) in medicines (including sunscreen).

During routine product testing Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc detected benzene at concentrations less than three ppm in two of the 17 batches supplied in Australia.

Although exposure to benzene at the levels detected, would not be expected to cause serious adverse health effects, the TGA said it was recalling all batches of the affected product supplied within Australia to reduce the risk to consumers.

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