(Montreal) Health Canada announced on Saturday that it was recalling the Neutrogena brand Beach Defense and Ultra Shear Aerosol Sunscreen due to its high concentration of benzene.
The federal agency said in a statement that tests ordered by the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson revealed such concentrations were dangerous to health after repeated and long-term use.
Health Canada urges people to refrain from using products affected by the recall.
“The immediate signs of exposure to high concentrations of benzene are drowsiness, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat and headaches,” Health Canada said.
Chronic exposure, for a year or more, can add “serious consequences” to health, including leukemia, anemia and bone marrow failure.
Health Canada encourages Canadians to continue using sunscreens to protect themselves from the sun and to do so according to label instructions. “Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause cancer and other skin effects,” the agency emphasizes.
Using sunscreen with 30 or more sun protection factors (SPF) to protect against ultraviolet A and B rays is recommended to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Recalls of affected products in Canada are also taking place in the United States due to increasing benzene concentrations.