Banana Boat Recalls Sunscreen Product After Detecting Cancer-Causing Chemical
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen announced on Friday it has voluntarily recalled three batches of its Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 after finding some samples of the product contained trace levels of a cancer-causing chemical.

Edgewell Personal Care Company, which submitted the announcement to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said an internal review reported that some product samples contained a human carcinogen known as benzene. The batches were set to expire in December 2022, February 2023, and April 2024.

“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 told NPR. “We are conducting this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution.”

The manufacturer said the review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can. However, Edgewell officials said Banana Boat products do not contain such chemicals.

“Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin, and it potentially can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life-threatening,” Edgewell officials said. “Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment,” the statement reads. “Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes benzene as a colorless or light-yellow liquid chemical at room temperature with a sweet odor and highly flammable. It evaporates quickly into the air, only slightly dissolves in water, stays afloat on top of water.

An independent health assessment from the manufacturer claims daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.

Officials said the manufacturer had not yet received any adverse events related to the recall. 

Edgewell distributed the sunscreen products nationwide through various retailers and online and has notified its base to remove any remaining recalled products from the shelves. Those who have purchased the product from the specific recalled batches are entitled to a refund.

“Consumers should stop using the affected product immediately and appropriately discard,” officials said.

Edgewell said consumers with questions regarding this recall should contact Edgewell Personal Care at 1-888-686-3988 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, or visit 

“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,” the press release said. 

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