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Neutrogena, Aveeno Sunscreens Benzene Content Class Action

When people use sunscreen, they often smear it over nearly their entire skin surface. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges that certain kinds of Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens, made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. (JJCI), have been found to contain benzene, a human carcinogen.

The Nationwide Subclass is all consumers who bought any lotion or spray product in the US for personal use or consumption. A New York Subclass has been defined for those in the Nationwide Subclass who bought the product in New York.

Benzene can be found in crude oil. It is used for making plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. It is considered a carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

According to the complaint, studies have found “that exposure to benzene can cause leukemia, other blood and bone marrow disorders (including anemia), and a weakened immune system. In addition, benzene has been linked to multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

It quotes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as saying that benzene and other Class 1 solvents “should not be employed in the manufacture of drug substances, excipients, and drug products because of their unacceptable toxicity or … deleterious environmental effect.” If benzene absolutely must be used to produce a drug, the FDA has limited its presence to 2 ppm.

The complaint alleges, “In all other cases, no level of benzene is acceptable.”

The FDA considers sunscreens that offer Broad Spectrum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) protection to be over-the-counter drugs. Sunscreens are to be tested by their makers. The complaint alleges, “The FDA has also identified those materials that qualify as acceptable active ingredients for products labeled as sunscreen. Benzene is not one of those acceptable ingredients.”

How did we discover this? According to the complaint, Valisure, an independent pharmacy, conducted a study of ingredients in various sunscreen products, including the following JJCI products:

  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 70
  • Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 45
  • Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 30
  • Invisible Daily Defense Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, SPF 60+
  • CoolDry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • CoolDry Sport Water-Resistant Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50
  • Beach Defense Oil-Free Body Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • Beach Defense Spray Body Sunscreen, SPF 50

The complaint claims, “Valisure detected high levels of benzene in several JJCI product batches. In particular, Valisure identified benzene levels of over 2 ppm in ten Neutrogena Sunscreen batches from five separate product lines. … It identified benzene levels of up to 2 ppm in thirteen Neutrogena sunscreen batches from ten different product lines.”

Benzene can be absorbed through the skin. The complaint alleges, “per FDA guidelines, any significant detection of benzene in the Products should be deemed unacceptable.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Neutrogena, Aveeno Sunscreens Benzene Content Complaint

July 14, 2021

When people use sunscreen, they often smear it over nearly their entire skin surface. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges that certain kinds of Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens, made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. (JJCI), have been found to contain benzene, a human carcinogen.

Neutrogena, Aveeno Sunscreens Benzene Content Complaint

Case Event History

Neutrogena, Aveeno Sunscreens Benzene Content Complaint

July 14, 2021

When people use sunscreen, they often smear it over nearly their entire skin surface. Unfortunately, the complaint for this class action alleges that certain kinds of Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens, made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. (JJCI), have been found to contain benzene, a human carcinogen.

Neutrogena, Aveeno Sunscreens Benzene Content Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Made or Constructed with Harmful Chemicals