Sunscreen recall: Popular sunscreen recalled over cancer-causing chemical

Products containing traces of benzene are routinely recalled because the chemical compound is a known carcinogen. With summer in full swing, people should be aware of this new benzene-related recall. Edgewell Personal Care Company issued a recall for three lots of Banana Boat hair and scalp sunscreen spray. Customers using products from the three lots risk continued exposure to benzene.

Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray recall

Edgewell issued the Banana Boat recall after an internal review found that some product samples contained trace levels of benzene. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the press release at this link.

Benzene is not an intended ingredient in the Banana Boat products in the recall. However, the benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.

Edgewell says only three lots of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray are part of the recall. Customers can use all other Banana Boat and Hair & Scalp products safely.

The three Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30 lots all have the same UPC: 0-79656-04041-8. But the expiration date differs on the three lot codes as follows:

  • 20016AF – expiration date: December 2022
  • 20084BF – expiration date: February 2023
  • 21139AF – expiration date: April 2024

You’ll find the identifiers above on the bottom of the cans. Edgewell distributed the hair and scalp sunscreen nationwide in the US through various physical retailers and online stores.

Banana Boat recall: An image of the Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray aerosol can. Image source: Edgewell via FDA

Why benzene is dangerous

Benzene is a chemical substance that humans might be exposed to routinely, as it can be present indoors and outdoors. But Benzene is also classified as a human carcinogen.

People can come in contact with it in various ways: by inhalation, orally, and through the skin. Higher levels of benzene might trigger the development of certain types of cancers. The list includes leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, which are both blood disorders that can be life-threatening.

Edgewell says that daily exposure to the benzene in the Banana Boat products from the recall should not cause adverse health reactions. That’s according to an independent health assessment using the established exposure modeling guidelines.

Banana Boat recall: The rear side of the aerosol can.
Banana Boat recall: The rear side of the aerosol can. Image source: Edgewell via FDA

What you should do

Edgewell notes that it has not received any reports of adverse reactions related to the Banana Boat products.

Even so, the company urges buyers not to use the sunscreen products in the recall. People who own the hair and scalp sunscreen spray should either discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Also, adverse reactions might take years to develop. Customers worried about exposure to benzene should seek advice from a doctor.

Finally, consumers should check out the Banana Boat recall press release at this link. It offers all the necessary information, including contact information for Edgewell and the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

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