July 31, 2022
Edgewell Personal Care Company issued a voluntary nationwide recall for three batches of its Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30.
On July 29, the company reported that an internal review found trace levels of benzene, a human carcinogen, in some samples of the product. Benzene is not an ingredient in any Banana Boat product, the company notes in its report posted to the FDA website, but unexpected levels of the chemical came from the propellant which sprays the product out of the can.
Exposure to benzene, whether by inhalation, orally or through the skin, can potentially result in life-threatening cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow.
At the time of the report, Edgewell had not yet received notice of any adverse events related to the recall.
The three recalled batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30 came in 6 oz aerosol cans, distributed throughout the United States through various retailers and online. The affected batches' expiration dates are December 2022, February 2023 and April 2024, and the batch codes (located on the bottom of the can) can be found online.
Anyone in possession of the affected Banana Boat sunscreen should stop using the product immediately and discard it appropriately. Retailers carrying the affected batches have been notified by Edgewell to remove any remaining product from shelves, and Banana Boat will reimburse consumers who purchased it.
Those who have used the recalled sunscreen are urged to contact their physician or healthcare provider with questions and concerns. Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to the use of the product can also report it to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.
This is not the first time sunscreen sprays have been recalled for traces of carcinogens. Last July, Johnson & Johnson recalled five Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol products due to levels of benzene found in some samples.
The Banana Boat recalls come at a time when it is important to apply sunscreen. Daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent, and lower melanoma risk by 50 percent. Hair and scalp sunscreen specifically, like the one recalled by Banana Boat, help prevent UV damage to hair follicles and the scalp.