Summer may be in full swing, but the sun-care world has been turned upside down. After a recent report claimed that several popular sun-care products contain a chemical that could potentially cause cancer, many companies have had to take a second look at their inventory. CVS is the latest company choosing to voluntarily pull items from shelves as a result of that explosive report. Read on to find out which two products you will no longer be able to buy from the pharmacy chain.
CVS is puling two of its store-brand aloe vera products.
CVS announced on July 15 that it would be pausing the sale of two of its sun-care products. The company is pulling both CVS Health After Sun Aloe Vera and CVS Health After Sun Aloe Vera Spray from its shelves. A CVS spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that the company halted sales of these two products "out of an abundance of caution."
"We remain committed to ensuring the products we offer are safe, work as intended, comply with regulations and satisfy customers," the spokesperson said.
The company also just paused the sale of certain Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens.
These are not the only sun-care products CVS has taken off of shelves this week, however. On July 14, Johnson&Johnson issued a voluntary recall of five of its sunscreen products: Neutrogena Beach Defense sunscreen, Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport sunscreen, Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense sunscreen, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen, and Aveeno Protect and Refresh sunscreen. CVS confirmed to Fox Business on July 15 that it would be cooperating with the manufacturer's recall and removing the five products from its inventory. Two other major pharmacy chains, Walgreens and Rite Aid, confirmed that they would be pulling the Johnson&Johnson products from shelves as well.
All of these products were found to contain low levels of benzene.
CVS' removal of two of its products and Johnson&Johnson's recall follow a report that some sun-care products contain a potentially cancer-causing chemical. Pharmaceutical testing company Valisure released a report in May claiming that they had found benzene, a known carcinogen, in about 27 percent of the sun-care sprays and lotions they tested. Products affected with the chemical include the two aloe vera products removed by CVS, as well as the four recalled Neutrogena products and the recalled Aveeno product.
Benzene is "classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure," according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"[Benzene's] association with forming blood cancers in humans has been shown in numerous studies at trace levels of parts per million and below," David Light, founder and CEO of Valisure, said in a statement. "The presence of this known human carcinogen in products widely recommended for the prevention of skin cancer and that are regularly used by adults and children is very troubling."
Other sun-care products were also found to contain benzene.
These were not the only products listed on Valisure's report. Several Banana Boat sunscreens and a few Walgreens-branded sun-products were also found to contain low levels of benzene. However, these products have not yet been recalled or pulled from shelves. John Dondrea, general counsel at Fruit of the Earth, the supplier for Walgreens' sun-care products, told Bloomberg that "all of [its] products are safe," and that the supplier is "confident the products don't contain benzene."
"We are confident in the safety and efficacy of our Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen," Edgewell Personal Care Co., the company behind these two brands, told Bloomberg. "Our products are not affected by a recall."