Finance Consumer Popular sunscreens recalled after detection of cancer-causing substance

Popular sunscreens recalled after detection of cancer-causing substance

Customers have been asked to discontinue use of Nivea and Cancer Council products with specific batch numbers.
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The national consumer watchdog has issued a recall for several batches of some of Australia’s most popular sunscreens after the detection of a dangerous carcinogen.

Low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing substance, were detected in four products made by two popular brands.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration ordered two batches from Nivea’s Protect & Moisture range and two from the Cancer Council’s sensitive range be pulled from shelves.

The consumer watchdog warned the products contained levels of benzene “above the acceptable limit”.

The TGA has recalled batches of these sunscreens made by Nivea due to potential contamination with a known carcinogen. Image: Product Safety Australia
Batches of these sunscreens from Cancer Council were also removed from shelves. Image: Product Safety Australia

Benzene is typically used to produce synthetic products, such as plastics, lubricants, rubber and pesticides.

Long-term exposure to benzene can damage the immune system and cause serious health issues such anaemia and even cancer.

According to the recall notices, the substance may have been “unintentionally introduced” during the manufacturing of the products.

Consumers are urged to stop using the following products:

  • Nivea Protect & Moisture SPF 30 lotion, 200 millilitres — Batch 12640440BN
  • Nivea Protect & Moisture SPF 50+ roll-on, 65 millilitres — Batch 12669940BN
  • Cancer Council Sensitive Sunscreen, 110-millilitre SPF 50+ lotion — Batch 1103178
  • Cancer Council Sensitive Sunscreen, 200-millilitre SPF 50+ lotion — Batch 1099751

The affected Nivea batches were available for sale from September 2021, while the recalled Cancer Council products sold from October 1, 2020, until June 1, 2021.

Consumers can contact Nivea and Vitality Brands directly for refunds.

The recalls come less than a week after two other popular sunscreen products were recalled for the same reason.

Two batches of Sun Bum products and three from Bondi Sands were found to contain the same dangerous carcinogen.

The TGA announced the recall of the following products on May 6:

Several batches of these products from Sun Bum and Bondi Sands were also recalled for the same reason. Image: Product Safety Australia

Sun Bum customers can visit to request refunds.

Bondi Sands customers are asked to either contact 1300 961 385 or, or contact their place of purchase for refunds.