Banana Boat recalls sunscreen spray after detecting trace amounts of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical

Banana Boat recalls sunscreen spray after detecting trace amounts of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical
Banana Boat recalled their sunscreen spray after detecting trace amounts of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical inside bottles (Picture Credit: Banana Boat)

Safety can be hazardous too. Batches of a sunscreen for hair and scalp are being recalled by the manufacturer of Banana Boat after an internal review found a trace amount of a cancer-causing chemical called benzene inside the bottles.

Edgewell Personal Care Company voluntarily recalled three batches of Banana Boat sunscreen on Friday, July 29, after an internal review flagged the product, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Distributed nationwide at various retail locations in the US, the recalled product Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30, is packaged in 6-ounce aerosol spray cans and was also available on the online site of the company. As per the company, the recalled batches will have expiration dates of December 2022, February 2023, or April 2024.


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The company said benzene, which is classified as a human carcinogen by FDA, is not a component of Banana Boat sunscreen but was found at an unexpected level in the propellant that sprays the product from the can.

"Importantly, no other batches of Hair & Scalp (either before or after the impacted production batches) and no other Banana Boat products are in the scope of this recall and may continue to be used by consumers safely and as intended," an Edgewell spokesperson said in a statement to NPR. "We are conducting this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution," the spokesperson added.

The company has publicly warned the consumers of recalled sunscreen to use the product and discard it immediately. The Edgewell company even asked the retailers to remove recalled sunscreen cans from their shelves and is offering reimbursement to consumers who purchased the recalled item.

Long-term exposure to benzene can affect the blood and bone marrow, leading to cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company said benzene exposure can occur by inhalation, orally, or through the skin.

The same recall announcement was made by Johnson & Johnson back in July 2021, when the brand recalled most of its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens from U.S. stores after detecting benzene in some samples. For the unreversed, Edgewell is one of the most reputed consumer products companies with a wide number of established brand names under their belt including Schick® and Wilkinson Sword® men's shaving products; Schick® and Billie® women's shaving products; Edge® and Skintimate® shave preparations; Playtex®, Stayfree®, Carefree®, o.b.® feminine care products and Banana Boat®. The company has managed to corner the personal care market in more than 50 countries.

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