Coppertone Sunscreen Recall Issued Due to Dangerous Benzene Levels

Several lines of Coppertone sunscreen sprays are being recalled because they may contain dangerous levels of benzene, which is a chemical classified as a human carcinogen.

The FDA announced the Coppertone sunscreen recall on September 30, after routine sample testing confirmed the presence of potentially unsafe levels of the benzene in several brands of aerosol spray cans intended for babies, kids and adults.

Benzene is an industrial chemical that has been associated with the development of several fatal forms of cancer, leukemia and other conditions, such as AML, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL), Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDL), Myelofibrosis and Myeloid Metaplasia, Aplastic Anemia and Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

While the FDA considers the chemical a solvent that should not be used in drug products if avoidable, if its inclusion is deemed necessary, the chemical should be restricted to a 2 parts per million (ppm) level to limit potentially harmful exposure levels.

The recall includes 12 lots of Coppertone Pure & Simple SPF 50 5.0 oz aerosol sunscreen spray, Coppertone Pure & Simple Kids SPF 50 5.0 oz aerosol sunscreen spray, Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby SPF 50 5.0 oz aerosol sunscreen spray, Coppertone Sport Mineral SPF 50 5.0 oz aerosol sunscreen spray, and Travel-size Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 50 1.6 oz aerosol sunscreen spray. The recalled sunscreen products were manufactured between January 10, 2021 and June 15, 2021, and distributed to various retailers throughout the U.S. A full list of affected products and their lot numbers is included in the recall notice linked above.

Consumers are being instructed to immediately stop using the recalled products and to dispose of them appropriately. Customers with questions are being encouraged to contact Coppertone at 1-888-921-1537, or visit www.sunscreenrecall2021.com to request a product refund.

Benzene Sunscreen Recalls

The recall comes after similar aerosol sunscreen problems with benzene found in other products, which has resulted in an FDA investigation and a number of lawsuits filed throughout the U.S.

In May, the on-line pharmacy Valisure issued a warning that benzene was detected in 78 sunscreen and after-sun care products tested from their inventory. More than a quarter of the sunscreen benzene levels exceeded 2 ppm; the level at which the FDA considers the chemical to pose a saftey concern.

Only a few months later, Johnson & Johnson issued a massive Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen recall in July 2021, after routine sample testing identified the presence of a unknown source of benzene contamination in those aerosol products as well.

Benzene is not an intended ingredient for any brand of the Johnson & Johnson sunscreen products, and the company announced that it is working with the FDA to determine how the chemical were introduced into the aerosol sunscreen spray cans.

At least eight sunscreen lawsuits have now been filed against Johnson & Johnson throughout the federal court system, each raising similar allegations that the company endangered consumers’ health by not warning them of the presence of benzene in brands of Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreen, which could increase their risk of cancer. It appears likely that a number of Coppertone sunscreen lawsuits are also likely in the coming months and years.

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