Benzene Testing Prompts Recalls of Spray Antifungals and Sunscreens

Heidi Splete

October 08, 2021

The presence of benzene has prompted voluntary company recalls of antifungal foot sprays and sunscreen products, all aerosol spray products.

Bayer has voluntarily recalled batches of its Lotrimin and Tinactin products because of benzene detected in some samples, according to an Oct. 1 company announcement, available on the Food and Drug Administration website. "It is important to note that Bayer's decision to voluntarily recall these products is a precautionary measure and that the levels detected are not expected to cause adverse health consequences in consumers," the announcement said.

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen present in the environment from both natural sources and human activity, and it has been shown to cause cancer with long-term exposure.

The products included in the recall – all in aerosol spray cans – are unexpired Lotrimin and Tinactin sprays with lot numbers starting with TN, CV, or NAA that were distributed to consumer venues between September 2018 and September 2021. The over-the-counter products are Lotrimin Anti-Fungal Athlete's Foot Powder Spray, Lotrimin Anti-Fungal Jock Itch (AFJI) Athlete's Foot Powder Spray, Lotrimin Anti-Fungal (AF) Athlete's Foot Deodorant Powder Spray, Lotrimin AF Athlete's Foot Liquid Spray, Lotrimin AF Athlete's Foot Daily Prevention Deodorant Powder Spray, Tinactin Jock Itch (JI) Powder Spray, Tinactin Athlete's Foot Deodorant Powder Spray, Tinactin Athlete's Foot Powder Spray, and Tinactin Athlete's Foot Liquid Spray.

Bayer has received no reports of adverse events related to the recall. The company also reported no concerns with its antifungal creams or other products.

In addition, Coppertone has issued a voluntary recall of specific lots of five spray sunscreen products because of the presence of benzene, according to a Sept. 30th company announcement, also posted on the FDA website. The recall includes Pure&Simple spray for babies, children, and adults; Coppertone Sport Mineral Spray; and Travel-sized Coppertone Sport spray. The specific lots were manufactured between January and June 2021, and are listed on the company announcement.

"Daily exposure to benzene at the levels detected in these affected Coppertone aerosol sunscreen spray products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences based on generally accepted exposure modeling by numerous regulatory agencies," according to the announcement. Coppertone has received no reports of adverse events related to the recall.

In the announcement, Coppertone advised consumers to discontinue use of the impacted products, dispose of the aerosol cans properly, and contact their physician or health care provider if they experience any problems related to the sunscreen sprays.

In May 2021, online pharmacy Valisure, which routinely tests their medications, petitioned the FDA to recall specific sunscreens after detecting high benzene levels in several brands and batches of sunscreen products. The FDA evaluated the petition, but the agency itself did not issue any recalls of sunscreens.

Clinicians are advised to report any adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online or by regular mail or fax using this form.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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