This week, Coppertone initiated a voluntary recall of 12 lots of products, which includes five varieties of spray sunscreen. They have manufacturing dates between January 1 and June 15, 2021, and were shipped to retailers across the U.S. Here are the specific sunscreens and lot numbers included in the recall:
- Coppertone Pure & Simple SPF 50 Spray (lots TN00BR2, TN00CJ4)
- Coppertone Pure & Simple Kids SPF 50 Spray (lots TN00854, TN00855, TN00857, TN00CJV)
- Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby SPF 50 Spray (lots TN0083J, TN0083K, TN009GH)
- Coppertone Sport Mineral SPF 50 Spray (lots TN008KU, TN008KV)
- Travel-Size Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 50 Spray (lot TN00BU3)
Coppertone decided to implement the sunscreen recall after detecting the presence of benzene, a known human carcinogen, in these specific products. But even daily exposure to the level of benzene found in the products “would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences based on generally accepted exposure modeling by numerous regulatory agencies,” the company said, according to a press release on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. “To date, Coppertone has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.”
Benzene is a chemical that we typically encounter in small amounts in the air due to car exhaust and tobacco smoke as well as paints, glues, and detergents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain. In the short term, exposure to a large amount of benzene can cause dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, changes in heart rate, and confusion. And long-term exposure to elevated levels of benzene is linked to bone marrow and blood issues, menstrual irregularities, and cancer, the CDC says.
And back in May a report from online pharmacy company Valisure found benzene in 78 batches of sunscreen, many of them from large well-known brands. So far, only Aveeno, Neutrogena, and now Coppertone have recalled spray sunscreens after finding benzene in their products (due to their own internal testing).
If you’re not sure whether or not your Coppertone sunscreen is subject to the recall, you can check it at the company’s site here or the FDA press release here. The company is urging consumers not to use the recalled products and to use the recall site to request a refund.
Now, watch the last 100 years of sun protection: