CVS pulls 2 store-brand products after J&J recall over cancerous chemical

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CVS on Thursday said it’s halting the sale of two of its store-brand aloe vera products one day after Johnson & Johnson announced the recall of five of its spray sunscreens because the company found low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, in some samples.

“CVS Pharmacy is cooperating with Johnson & Johnson’s voluntary recall of certain Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products,” Joe Goode, a CVS spokesman, said in an email to the Post.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve also halted the sale of two products- CVS Health After Sun Aloe Vera and CVS Health After Sun Aloe Vera Spray and are working with our supplier to take appropriate additional steps,” he added. 

The recalled J&J products, as well as the pulled CVS items, were named in a May report by Valisure, an independent testing lab in New Haven, Connecticut, for having detectable levels of benzene in at least some batches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says benzene can cause leukemia or other cancers after long-term exposure to high levels.

“We remain committed to ensuring the products we offer are safe, work as intended, comply with regulations and satisfy customers,” CVS’ Goode said.

Along with releasing its report in late May, Valisure filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration asking for the products to be recalled.

In announcing its recall on Wednesday, J&J said they notified the FDA of the recall.

J&J’s recall covers the Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four Neutrogena sunscreens: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.

The pharmaceutical giant said benzene is not an ingredient in the products. J&J added that it’s investigating how the chemical might have gotten into some of its products.

“Daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement Wednesday. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products.”

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