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Health Department warns of recalled sunscreen products

The Maui News

The state Department of Health is warning residents and visitors to stop using Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen after Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled the product lines.

After testing identified low levels of benzene in some samples of the products, the company recalled the following:

• 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.

Benzene, the chemical found in the affected sunscreens as well as motor vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke, is known to cause cancer in humans, the department said in a news release Tuesday. It 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, the department said. However, they are being recalled to prevent further exposure.

Consumers should stop using the affected products and discard or return them.

The recalled sunscreens are packaged in aerosol cans and were distributed nationwide, including Hawaii, through a variety of retailers. Three of the affected sunscreens contain oxybenzone and/or octinoxate, ingredients banned from sale or distribution in Hawaii under a law that went into effect in January.

Product images and lot information are available at neutrogena.com and aveeno.com.

Sunscreen use, however, is still critical to the prevention of skin cancer, and people should continue to take appropriate sun protection steps, including using reef-safe sunscreens, covering skin with clothing and hats and avoiding the sun during peak hours, the department said.

For questions or to request a refund, consumers may contact the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Care Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (800) 458-1673. Consumers should contact their physician or health care provider if they have questions, concerns or have experienced any problems related to using the aerosol sunscreen products.

The company is also notifying distributors and retailers by letter and is arranging for returns of all recalled products.

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