Coppertone Recalls 5 Sunscreens After Samples Test Positive for Cancer-Linked Benzene

  • Coppertone is launching a voluntary recall on five different sunscreen products made and sold between January and June of this year.
  • Affected customers can ask the brand for a refund by heading to a special website or by calling a customer service center established for the recall.
  • Benzene, a known carcinogen, may impact your immune health and other essential bodily functions if absorbed or inhaled repeatedly over time.

    After a high-profile recall of many sunscreen products was issued earlier this summer, manufacturers continue to find trace amounts of benzene in their products. Coppertone launched a voluntary recall in late September that indicated that five of its sunscreens may potentially contain benzene, a known carcinogen that experts say could potentially increase cancer risk over time in repeated exposure.

    Coppertone’s voluntary recall has been noted in detail by officers at the Food and Drug Administration. According to the announcement, the sunscreen in question was made on a range of dates between January 10 and June 15; the products were also later distributed in a timely fashion, meaning consumers likely purchased them earlier this year.

    Random sampling on batches of the following sunscreens indicated that benzene was present. The full list of recalled aerosol sunscreens include:

    • Coppertone Pure & Simple SPF 50, 5oz (Lot# TN00CJ4, Lot# TN00BR2)
    • Coppertone Pure & Simple Kids SPF 50, 5oz (Lot# TN00857, Lot# TN00CJV, Lot# TN00854, Lot# TN00855)
    • Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby SPF 50, 5oz (Lot# TN009GH, Lot# TN0083K, Lot# TN0083J)
    • Coppertone Sport Mineral SPF 50, 5oz (Lot# TN008KU, Lot# TN008KV)
    • Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 50, 1.6 oz travel size (Lot# TN00BU3)

      The brand is directing any impacted customers over to a special website to request a refund for any of the five implicated products. Customers can also contact 1-888-921-1537 with questions or concerns during weekday business hours.

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      In a statement to the FDA, Coppertone officials have indicated that they haven’t received “any reports of adverse events related to this recall” prior to when the recall had launched, a similar precaution that other beauty and skincare brands took earlier this year.

      Good Housekeeping previously explored how benzene, a flammable, colorless chemical that has a slight sweet perfume, ended up in a slew of popular sunscreens. Johnson & Johnson, Aveno and Neutrogena issued recalls earlier this year after independent testing found benzene in over 50 different products. It’s unclear how benzene ended up being traced back to sunscreens, including Coppertone’s products, given that it’s not an active ingredient in the production process. Rather, experts in the field have indicated that benzene in sunscreen may simply be a byproduct of the production and manufacturing process.

      Scientists have long discerned that repeated benzene exposure can be damaging to your health. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that benzene can greatly damage your immune system over time by triggering white blood cell irregularity or anemia. Benzene can be absorbed through topical application of sunscreen, but it may also be inhaled, another implication for Aersol-based products.

      Checking any bottles of sunscreen lying around your medicine cabinet can help ensure your family is not inadvertently using a recalled product in the future. For more information on the best (and safest!) sunscreens on the market, turn to the Good Housekeeping Institute’s report below.

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