In the wake of Johnson & Johnson’s voluntary recall of several brands of its aerosol sunscreen, questions are being asked as to what types of cancers may be related to exposure to the products. The concerns which led to the recall are centered upon detectable amounts of benzene within the sunscreen. Benzene is classified as “carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the agency’s most serious classification.
The cancers most commonly associated with benzene exposure are as follows:
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Aplastic Anemia
Thus far, only five aerosol sunscreens have been implicated by the product recall. Those sunscreens recalled are:
- NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen
- NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
- NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen
- NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen
- AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen
Use of these sunscreens for as little as one year may be sufficient to cause cancer.
Lawsuits alleging injury caused by these sunscreens are being filed throughout the country. In late July 2021, Plaintiffs requested the formation of multidistrict litigation similar to what has been utilized in other cancer litigations such as Roundup and Talcum Powder. A ruling on this motion is anticipated in the coming months.