Banana Boat calls for hair and scalp sunscreen that contains low levels of carcinogens

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Banana Boat’s parent company has recalled batches of spray sunscreen because it contains trace levels of benzene, a carcinogen. Consumers have been urged to stop using the products.

Edgewell Personal Care, owner of Banana Boat Company, issued a nationwide voluntary recall Friday for products in three batches of SPF 30 sunscreen for hair and scalp, which were found to contain a carcinogen, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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

Batch codes – located at the bottom of the cans – of the three recalled batches are 20016AF, 20084BF and 21139AF, with expiration dates of December 2022, February 2023, and April 2024. All recalled spray cans are 6 ounces.

“No other Banana Boat products are within the scope of this recall and may continue to be used by consumers safely and as intended,” the FDA said.

The FDA said that gasoline is not an ingredient in any Banana Boat product, but it is part of the propellant that sprays sunscreen out of the can. Retailers have been asked to remove products from shelves. The sunscreen was sold online and in stores.

“Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally and through the skin, and has the potential to lead to cancers including leukemia, bone marrow leukemia and blood disorders, which can be life-threatening,” the department said.

Low levels of benzene can be found in products like plastics and detergents, as well as in gas stations and in the air through tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust, and industrial emissions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Benzene causes cells to function incorrectly and can damage the immune system.

“The severity of benzene poisoning depends on the amount, route, and length of exposure, as well as the age and pre-existing medical condition of the exposed person,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

People are exposed to trace levels of benzene in their environment. No adverse effects have been reported with Banana Boat sunscreens, but consumers should contact their healthcare providers if they experience problems, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

“We know you love our products, and we are conducting this recall process out of great caution,” Banana Boat said on its website.

Similar gasoline-related recalls have occurred in the past. Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of some Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens last year after tests revealed low levels of benzene.

Banana Boat will compensate the purchaser of these products. For more information, consumers can visit the Banana Boat website or call 1-888-686-3988.

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