Sunscreen Recall FAQs

Last updated on: September 19, 2021

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We wear sunscreen to prevent the sun from damaging our skin; unfortunately, some sunscreens may actually cause more harm than they prevent. When you apply the sunscreen and your body is absorbing it, various chemicals from the sunscreen can enter your bloodstream. As a result, if a sunscreen contains any harmful chemicals, those harmful substances can be absorbed into your body, potentially causing cancer or other illness. If you suspect you were hurt by harmful sunscreen, contact a sunscreen injury lawyer now.

Recent studies have revealed several sunscreen products contain benzene, a cancer-causing chemical. So, if you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, and you have used one of the products involved in the sunscreen recall, you should call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible with one of our skilled personal injury lawyers near you. If we cannot win your case, you will not owe us anything.

sunscreen injury lawyer

Sunscreen products that may contain benzene

The presence of benzene was discovered in sunscreen products produced by Johnson & Johnson, under the Neutrogena sunscreen and Aveeno sunscreen brands, and several others. Johnson & Johnson has announced a voluntary recall of these products and encourages consumers to stop using any they may have already purchased.


Understandably, it can be confusing when faced with the realization that the very substance we use to protect us from cancer may potentially cause cancer itself as a result of manufacturer negligence. As a result, many questions may come to mind, including:

1. What Is Benzene?

Benzene is a chemical often used as an industrial solvent and in manufacturing processes. Known to be a toxic substance for over a century, benzene is also a known human carcinogen, meaning that exposure to this substance can cause cancer. As a result, its use in sunscreen products is not allowed.

There is no safe exposure limit for benzene, as even trace amounts can cause cancer. However, some medicine is allowed by the FDA to include minute amounts, up to 2 parts per million (ppm), if it is deemed absolutely necessary to the manufacturing of the medication and the medication provides a critical advancement in treatment. Sunscreen does not fall under this exception, and sunscreen products are not allowed to contain any benzene.

2. Is Sunscreen Manufactured Using Benzene?

Manufacturers of sunscreen assert they do not use benzene in the manufacturing process, and it does not appear in the list of active ingredients used in its production. However, benzene in these sunscreens may be an undesired byproduct of the manufacturing process or may have come from contamination at some point in the manufacturing process. Recent studies by the independent lab Valisure discovered some sunscreens contain up to 6 ppm of benzene; other studies suggest that even exposure of just 1 ppm is likely to cause cancer.

3. Do All Sunscreens Contain Benzene?

While several sunscreens were found to contain the cancer-causing benzene, many products tested lacked this harmful chemical, even in some cases where both products shared the same manufacturer. The sunscreen recall by Johnson & Johnson will hopefully keep many of the products with the highest concentrations of benzene from harming consumers while potentially encouraging other sunscreen manufacturers to ensure the safety of their products.

4. Which Sunscreens Contain Benzene?

According to the Valisure study, sunscreens containing dangerously high levels of 2 ppm or higher include:

  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 60+
  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Beach Defense Spray Body Sunscreen, SPF 50
  • Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
Sun Bum
  • Cool Down Gel
CVS Health
  • After-sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray
Fruit of the Earth
  • Aloe Vera Gel

Meanwhile, sunscreens containing between 0.1 ppm and 2 ppm of benzene included:

  • Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 60+
  • CoolDry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 30 Spray
  • Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45
  • Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen SPF 70
  • Cool Dry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray SPF 50
CVS Health
  • After-sun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
  • After-sun Aloe Vera Soothing Spray
Raw Elements
  • Eco Formula Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • Advanced After-Sun Gel
  • Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Banana Boat
  • Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • UltraMist Deep Tanning Dry Oil Continuous Clear Spray
  • Ultra Sport Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
TopCare Everyday
  • Ultimate Sheer Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
  • UV Aero Broad-Spectrum Full-Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 45

Numerous other sunscreens were found to have detectable, but extremely low levels of benzene (less than .01 ppm). You can find a complete list of sunscreens that were found to contain benzene here.

5. Which Sunscreen Products Been Recalled for Benzene Contamination?

Following the release of the Valisure study and efforts urging the FDA to order recalls, Johnson & Johnson has voluntarily recalled several of its Neutrogena sunscreen and Aveeno sunscreen products. Its sunscreen recall consists of:

  • Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen (Neutrogena)
  • Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen (Neutrogena)
  • Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen (Neutrogena)
  • Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen (Neutrogena)
  • Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen (Aveeno)

These recalls only include aerosol sprays, however, while benzene was detected in lotions as well. If you have questions about any of these products that have been recalled and whether you can seek compensation from Johnson & Johnson for any damage that may have been done to you as a result of your use of them, it may be worth your time to contact a Zinda Law Group personal injury attorney today.


The detrimental effects of benzene have been known for over a century and are well documented. Benzene is a toxic chemical, and there is no safe exposure amount, as benzene is toxic in any amount of exposure, though the likelihood of negative health effects rises with higher concentrations or longer durations of exposure. Short-term effects of benzene exposure may include dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness.

However, benzene has also been linked to several serious long-term health effects, such as leukemia and other cancers of the blood. Benzene is also considered to be a cause of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Benzene exposure may also cause these serious cancers, which can be life-threatening, especially if undiagnosed and untreated:

  • acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL),
  • multiple myeloma,
  • and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


Companies have an obligation to ensure their products are not harmful and do not contain harmful chemicals. If these chemicals are present due to the nature of the product, the manufacturer must adequately warn the consumer of the presence of such substances and the risks they pose. Manufacturers also have a responsibility to ensure their products are free of contamination by harmful substances. Despite Johnson & Johnson issuing a sunscreen recall on several of their products containing benzene contamination, the manufacturer may still be liable for any harm caused to consumers who purchased the product before the recall.


If you have used any sunscreen products that may have contained benzene and you have recently been diagnosed with one of the cancers or illnesses associated with benzene exposure, you should call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The sunscreen recall does not impact your ability to seek compensation if you used these products before the recall was issued. Cancers such as leukemia can be extremely costly, and treatment may leave you unable to work, further adding to your financial burdens.

An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for medical expenses, lost pay, and pain and suffering. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal rights and whether you may be entitled to any compensation.


We expect product manufacturers to ensure the products we purchase are not harmful. Nevertheless, manufacturers often fail to meet this obligation, which may lead to injuries, illness, or even death. Fortunately, if you are harmed by a defective product, such as a sunscreen, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages by holding the manufacturer or others responsible.

While each case is different, the Zinda Law Group team may be able to help you pursue maximum compensation if you have been harmed by contaminated sunscreen. As a result, if you have used any of the products reportedly containing benzene, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible and call the Zinda Law Group today, so they can start investigating your claim and helping you through this difficult time.

The products liability attorneys at Zinda Law Group have years of experience helping other victims of defective or contaminated products pursue compensation. Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney from Zinda Law Group. You will not pay anything unless we win your case; that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

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