HOUSTON - Johnson and Johnson is recalling most of its Neutrogena and Aveeno brand spray sunscreens after finding a cancer-causing chemical in some samples.
Johnson and Johnson said people should throw away and stop using five of its six Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens including Neutrogena’s Beach Defense, Cool Dry Sport, Invisible Daily, Ultra Sheer, and Aveeno's Protect + Refresh.
The company is also asking retailers to stop selling the product after discovering the cancer-causing chemical benzene contaminated some of its batches.
"Benzene is a highly carcinogenic chemical and it really should never end up in any products. There are so many different types of cancers linked to benzene," said Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry, Houston's Tox Doc.
Dr. Noreen explained how such a toxic chemical as benzene could even end up in the products we use on our skin.
"The way that these things happen is normally, when you are creating them in a facility where there are not quality controls to ensure that benzene is not being mixed in," Dr. Noreen said.
The recall appears to be a lose-lose situation for people that live in hot climates like Houston. Not wearing sunscreen increases your risk of cancer and wearing some brands might do the same as well. But Dr. Noreen says consumers should still find ways to protect themselves.
"I would definitely look for a zinc oxide-based skincare of sunscreen and on top of protecting your skin when you use zinc oxide-based sunscreen, you're also not harming marine life," Dr. Noreen said.
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For those who fear they might’ve been exposed, Dr. Noreen suggests informing a dermatologist.
"For people who have already suffered from skin cancer, who have a history of skin cancer in their family, I would recommend contacting a dermatologist because you are already high risk. Just because you've been exposed to benzene once or twice, doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get cancer, even if you've been exposed to it a lot more because inter-individual susceptibilities are at play," Dr Noreen said.