J&J said in a statement that "use of these products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences" and that it voluntarily decided to recall them "out of an abundance of caution." The statement added that people should use an alternate sunscreen to protect themselves from the skin cancer melanoma.
Benzene is a highly flammable, widely used chemical that is present throughout the environment. It can cause cancer with repeated exposure at high-enough levels. It also can damage the immune system and prevent cells from functioning properly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The chemical's effects vary by whether a person accidentally inhales or ingests it or gets it on skin and clothing. Symptoms range from dizziness and irregular heartbeat to convulsions and, at very high levels, death.
J&J, which is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, said it has notified the Food and Drug Administration of the recall.