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Neutrogena Sunscreen Products Contain Benzene Class Action

The introduction to the complaint for this class action suggests that its origin lies in the diagnosis of mother of two, Elizabeth Bodle, with acute my[e]loid leukemia: “As she is in her early fifties and healthy, [Bodle] and her spouse became suspicious as to why she was the unfortunately victim of such a deadly disease.” Their research led them to the finding of a carcinogen in Bodle’s Neutrogena sunscreen, made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.

The class for this action is all consumers who bought any lotion or spray sunscreen in the US for personal use or consumption.

The complaint alleges, “Recent independent scientific testing, confirmed by Johnson & Johnson through a massive nationwide recall, has revealed that several of Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena sunscreen products contain dangerous and unacceptable levels of benzene, a known human carcinogen…”

Sunscreens that claim to offer Broad Spectrum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) protection are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as over-the-counter drugs. 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.”

Benzene is a hydrocarbon that may be found in crude oil and that is used to make plastics, resins, synthetics, and pesticides. The Department of Health and Human Serivces classifies it as a human carcinogen, as does the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The complaint claims, “Scientific studies have established that exposure to benzene can cause leukemia (including acute myeloid leukemia…, other blood and bone marrow disorders, and a weakened immune system. In addition, benzene has been linked to multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

How was the benzene found in the sunscreen? Valisure, an independent pharmacy, tested a number of sunscreens and other sun products. On May 25, 2021, it filed a citizen petition with the FDA, requesting that it recall all batches of sunscreen in which it had found benzene. The complaint alleges that “the majority of [these] were Neutrogena products containing the carcinogen.”

According to the complaint, “Valisure identified benzene levels over two ppm in ten Neutrogena sunscreen batches from five separate product[] lines. … Valisure only identified fourteen products in this category with Neutrogena making up the overwhelming majority and constituting the three highest levels of benzene.”

The complaint adds, “By way of reference, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (‘NIOSH’) recommends protective equipment be worn by any worker expecting to be exposed to benzene at concentrations of 0.1 ppm. … NIOSH lists ‘skin absorption’ as one way a person could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene.”

According to the complaint, Johnson & Johnson has not explained how the benzene found its way into the sunscreens. The complaint claims, “Johnson & Johnson’s failure to prevent the presence of benzene in the Sunscreens, and its sale of these dangerous and illegal products, constitutes actionable fraud.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Neutrogena Sunscreen Products Contain Benzene Complaint

October 4, 2021

The introduction to the complaint for this class action suggests that its origin lies in the diagnosis of mother of two, Elizabeth Bodle, with acute my[e]loid leukemia: “As she is in her early fifties and healthy, [Bodle] and her spouse became suspicious as to why she was the unfortunately victim of such a deadly disease.” Their research led them to the finding of a carcinogen in Bodle’s Neutrogena sunscreen, made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.

Neutrogena Sunscreen Products Contain Benzene Complaint

Case Event History

Neutrogena Sunscreen Products Contain Benzene Complaint

October 4, 2021

The introduction to the complaint for this class action suggests that its origin lies in the diagnosis of mother of two, Elizabeth Bodle, with acute my[e]loid leukemia: “As she is in her early fifties and healthy, [Bodle] and her spouse became suspicious as to why she was the unfortunately victim of such a deadly disease.” Their research led them to the finding of a carcinogen in Bodle’s Neutrogena sunscreen, made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.

Neutrogena Sunscreen Products Contain Benzene Complaint
Tags: Contaminated with Harmful Substances, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Fraud