Six sunscreens recalled over potential cancer-causing chemical


Six sunscreen products have been recalled in Australia due to the detection of low levels of benzene, which is a chemical that can cause cancer in humans.

As sunscreens are regulated as medicines in Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued the recall.

Brands affected include Cancer Council, Nivea, Bondi Sands and Baby Bum.

Only the following batches are being recalled:

  • Cancer Council Sensitive Sunscreen SPF50+ 110mL (Tube), batch number 1103178
  • Cancer Council Sensitive Sunscreen SPF50+ 200mL (Pump), batch number 1099751
  • NIVEA Sun Protect & Moisture SPF30 Lotion 200ml, batch number 12640440-BN
  • NIVEA Sun Protect & Moisture SPF50+ Roll On 65ml, batch number 12669940BN
  • SPF 50+ Lotion Spray Coconut Beach 200ml, batch numbers 104263, 1104743 and 1104264
  • Baby Bum Mineral SPF50+ Lotion 88mL, batch numbers N1118B and N1118C

The TGA warned other products may be added to the recall as investigations continued.

“Benzene is a chemical that can cause cancer in humans, depending on the level and length of exposure,” the recall notice read.

“Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreens but can be a contaminant in raw materials used in the manufacturing process.

“It has been detected in one batch of a raw material used in the manufacture of a number of products and the TGA is working with affected companies to confirm if benzene is present in their medicines and if it is, how much is there.”

It noted that exposure at the levels detected would not be expected to cause serious adverse health effects and the risk to sunscreen users was considered low.

However, the products were recalled to ensure consumer safety.

Benzene levels in sunscreens sold in Australia must be below two parts per million.

You can return the products listed to the place you purchased them for a refund, and anyone with concerns about benzene is instructed to speak to their doctor.

Last year, three other sunscreen products were recalled over the possible presence of benzene.

They included three Banana Boat products and a Neutrogena sunscreen.

Banana Boat recall (all batches with an expiry date of 31st January 2024 or earlier):

  • Banana Boat Ultra Very High Protection Clear Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+, AUST L 206508
  • Banana Boat Simply Protect Kids Very High Protection Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+, AUST L 311003
  • Banana Boat Dry Balance Very High Protection Clear Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+, AUST L 342636.

Neutrogena recall (all batches with an expiry date of 30th August 2023 or earlier):

  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ (aerosol sunscreen), AUST L 202301, 29 April 2022