Product Recall

Banana Boat Sunscreen Recalled For Chemical Cancer Risk

After an internal review, traces of a known carcinogen were found in Banana Boat sunscreen products packaged in aerosol cans.

Originally Published: 
Young Asian mother grocery shopping with little daughter and choosing for baby necessities in a stor...
d3sign/Moment/Getty Images

A popular sunscreen brand has voluntarily recalled several of its products. The nationwide recall comes after unexpected trace levels of benzene, a known carcinogen, were found following an internal review.

Edgewell Personal Care Company announced it had issued a voluntary recall of three batches of one type of its popular Banana Boat sunscreen. “We know that you love our products, and we are conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution,” a statement posted to the company’s website read.

Here’s what you need to know.

Which Banana Boat sunscreen products are being recalled?

According to the voluntary recall notice shared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a recall was issued for three batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 after trace amount of benzene were found in the product after an internal review. This product was packaged in aerosol cans; none of the company’s sunscreen lotions were affected.

It’s important to note that benzene was not an ingredient in the sunscreen; instead, trace amounts were due to the propellant that distributes product in the packaging, the press release explains.

The recalled products were distributed across the United States through retailers and online stores. “Edgewell has notified its retailers to remove any remaining recalled product from shelves,” according to the company’s statement.

Lot codes of the affected Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30 include 20016AF, 20084BF, and 21139AF. These codes can be found on the bottom of the aerosol can and have an expiration date between December 2022 and April 2024.

“Importantly, no other batches of Hair & Scalp (either before or after these batch codes) 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.”

Edgewell Personal Care Company ; FDA

Why is benzene harmful?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia.” The CDC also warns that long-term exposure could “cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.”

To date, the FDA and Edgewell have not received any notifications of adverse reactions related to the trace amount of benzene found in the three batches of sunscreen. Therefore, they don’t anticipate there to be any going forward.

“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 recall notice explains.

The recall states you should contact your health care team should there be “any questions, concerns or have experienced any problems related to using these aerosol sunscreen products.”

What to do if you have the recalled product?

Banana Boat is asking anyone with the Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30 in the listed lot codes to stop using the product immediately. In addition, the statement says to “discard the product,” adding that Banana Boat will offer reimbursement.

For more details on the recall and how to get a refund, Banana Boat is asking people to visit its recall site for more information.

This article was originally published on