Maui News

DOH Warns Consumers of Recalled Sunscreen Products with Benzene

July 20, 2021, 8:40 AM HST
* Updated July 20, 9:25 AM
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Sunscreen recall. Courtesy photos.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health is alerting residents and visitors that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is voluntarily recalling all lots of five NEUTROGENA® and AVEENO® aerosol sunscreen product lines. Company testing identified low levels of benzene in some samples of the products. Consumers should stop using the affected products and discard or return them.

The recalled products are spray-on sunscreens, specifically:

  • NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen,
  • NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen,
  • NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen,
  • NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen, and
  • AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.

The recalled sunscreens are packaged in aerosol cans and were distributed nationwide, including Hawai‘i, through a variety of retailers. Three of the affected sunscreens contain oxybenzone and/or octinoxate, ingredients banned from sale or distribution in Hawai‘i under Section 11-342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, that went into effect in January 2021. 

Benzene, the chemical found in the affected sunscreens, is common in the environment including in motor vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke, and is known to cause cancer in humans. Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreen products and the levels of benzene found in the recalled products was low. Based on current information, daily exposure to benzene in these sunscreen products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. However, these products are being recalled to prevent further exposure. JJCI is investigating the possible cause of contamination that led to the presence of benzene in their products.

Sunscreen use is critical to public health and the prevention of skin cancer. People should continue to take appropriate sun protection measures including using reef safe sunscreens, covering skin with clothing and hats, and avoiding the sun during peak hours.

Consumers may contact the JJCI Consumer Care Center 24/7 with questions or to request a refund by calling 1-800-458-1673. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have any questions, concerns or have experienced any problems related to using these aerosol sunscreen products. JJCI is also notifying its distributors and retailers by letter and is arranging for returns of all recalled products.

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