Bayer recalls antifungal aerosol sprays on carcinogen contamination concerns

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Bayer issued a voluntary recall of antifungal aerosol sprays distributed in North America since 2018 after it discovered the carcinogen benzene in samples of the products. (Bayer)

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer started a voluntary recall of certain antifungal aerosol sprays after the drugmaker discovered the carcinogen benzene in samples of the products.

The recall covers Bayer's Lotrimin AF and Tinactin liquid and powder form products used to treat athlete’s foot, jock itch and other fungal conditions. The affected products shipped between September 2018 and September 2021 through a variety of retail channels in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, or a substance that has the potential to cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure. It can be encountered daily from gasoline, cigarette smoke, pesticides, plastics and more. It's not an ingredient in any Bayer products, the company said.

So far, the company hasn't received received any consumer complaints related to the recall. The levels of benzene the company discovered wasn’t likely to cause “adverse consequences," Bayer added.

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson yanks Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens on carcinogen fears

The presence of potential harmful carcinogens in drug products has become an issue in recent years. In the last two years alone, diabetes medication metformin was behind a number of cross-company recalls after the FDA found the carcinogen in N-Nitrosodimethylamine product samples.

This summer, Johnson & Johnson pulled all lots of five Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens after internal testing uncovered low levels of benzene in some samples.