Banana Boat sunscreen recalled for containing cancer-causing chemical

One of America’s largest sunscreen makers is extending a recall of its products after they were found to contain a carcinogen.

Banana Boat’s parent firm Edgewell Personal Care Company, based in Shelton, Connecticut, added a fourth batch of SPF 30 Hair Scalp spray to a recall initiated last summer.

Edgewell reports that the affected products were sold across the country at a multitude of retail locations. 

The recall comes after investigators found trace amounts of benzene in samples of the spray. Exposure to the chemical is linked to leukemia and blood cancers.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports no adverse events yet linked to the sunscreen. Other Banana Boat products are believed to be safe for use.

A fourth lot of Banana Boat Hair Scalp spray has been recalled over concerns the products contain the cancer-causing chemical benzene. The recall started in July 2022

‘A review found that some samples of the product contained trace levels of benzene,’ Edgewell wrote in a release.

‘While benzene is not an ingredient in any Banana Boat products, the review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.’

Each of the four lots include 6oz cans of the spray. Three lots were initially recalled in July 2022 because of the benzene contamination.

It is unclear how benzene found its way into the product.

Edgewell notes in its release that Benzene is a frequent chemical in the environment.

‘Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment. Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources,’ it wrote.

‘Daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences according to an independent health assessment using established exposure modeling guidelines.’

The chemical is often in glues, rubbers, synthetic fibers and other materials.

Occupational exposure is most common, according to a 2010 report, with many who work in manufacturing inhaling the chemical regularly.

People who live near factories or processing plants that use benzene may also be exposed in the environment.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) warns that cigarette smoke and car emissions are also sources of exposure.

While small, occasional exposures are not overly worrisome, the NCI warns the chemical can lead to the development of leukemia and other blood cancers, along with other blood-based diseases such as anemia.

The chemical can cause cells in a person’s bone marrow to stop working properly – changing the way the body produces red blood cells in a way that causes cancer.

Around 60,000 cases of leukemia are diagnosed each year, causing more than 20,000 deaths. 

Despite potential contamination risks, experts still advise a person to wear sunscreen when spending long periods of time outdoors.

Unprotected prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can lead to the development of skin cancer and other conditions.

Products in Banana Boat recall

Banana Boat Hair Scalp Spray SPF 30

Banana Boat Hair Scalp Spray SPF 30

Banana Boat Hair Scalp Spray SPF 30

Banana Boat Hair Scalp Spray SPF 30