The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has successfully pressured Johnson & Johnson to recall five aerosol sunscreen products due to Benzene contamination. The Neutrogena products are: CoolDry Sport aerosol; Daily Defense aerosol; Beach Defense aerosol; and UltraSheer aerosol. The Aveeno product is Protect + Refresh aerosol. Any individual who used one of these products in the last several months should be aware of the recall and of the legal options available to them.
Benzene is a component of crude oil and a common byproduct of manufacturing, so benzene contamination in products is a common occurrence. However, since 1948 the American Petroleum Institute has advised that there is no safe acceptable of exposure to benzene. Exposures of even .1 ppm (parts per million) can cause acute illnesses, including aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, and forms of leukemia. Manufacturers are required to remain watchful for benzene exposure, and when contaminated products reach consumers, those manufacturers are strictly liable for the harms they cause. A plaintiff must only show causation.
In the case of the Johnson & Johnson sunscreen products, which were being sold during the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, consumers who used these products should explore legal options immediately, as plaintiffs have a limited time to act. For more information and an understanding of the important way that products liability litigation serves to protect the public, read this blog post.