The Hawaii Department of Health today warned residents and visitors of several sunscreens that have been recalled due to the presence of benzene, which is known to cause cancer in humans.
Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled five Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen product lines last Wednesday after some samples were found to contain low levels of benzene.
The recalled spray-on sunscreens were distributed nationwide, including Hawaii, through a variety of retailers.
The five recalled product lines include:
>> Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen
>> Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen
>> Neutrogena Invisible Daily defense aerosol sunscreen
>> Neutrogena Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen
>> Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.
Health officials said consumers should stop using the affected products, and discard or return them immediately.
Three of the affected sunscreens also contain oxybenzone and/or octinoxate, ingredients that were banned from sale or distribution in Hawaii under a new law that went into effect in January to protect Hawaii’s marine environment.
According to health officials, benzene is commonly found in motor vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke and is known to cause cancer in humans. It is not, however, an ingredient safe for sunscreen products.
J&J is currently investigating how the benzene got into their products and is recalling them to prevent further exposure.
Health officials said, however, that sunscreen use is still critical to the prevention of skin cancer, and that people should use reef-safe sunscreens or cover up with clothing and hats to protect themselves from the sun during peak hours.
Consumers can contact J&J’s Consumer Care Center with questions or request a refund at 1-800-458-1673.