During the summer, the last thing you want to see is a sunscreen recall. Recently, the manufacturer of Banana Boat sunscreen products, Edgewell Personal Care Company (“Edgewell”), issued a voluntary recall of three batches of its popular Banana Boat sunscreen.

Why was the sunscreen recalled?

Through an internal review, Edgewell detected traces of benzene in some of the products. Benzene is a known chemical carcinogen. This means it is known to cause cancer in humans. There is no safe level of exposure to benzene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-term exposure to benzene can cause cancer, including leukemia.

Why is benzene put in sunscreen?

Benzene is not added as an ingredient in sunscreen so it is not listed on the label. Edgewell has confirmed this. The company stated, “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.”

Which products were recalled?

Specific batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 in 6-ounce cans were included in the recall. The applicable lot numbers and expiration dates are listed below. They can be found at the bottom of the can:

Is benzene in other types of sunscreen?

It is possible that other types of sunscreen will be recalled for containing benzene.

Last year, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled specific Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreens products for the same reason. It also confirmed that benzene is not an ingredient in those products. But it was detected in the finished product.

At that time, Johnson & Johnson publicly stated that using the product was not expected to cause adverse health consequences. But just before the recall, the Food and Drug Administration (”FDA”) reported that using sunscreen contaminated  with benzene could lead to life-threatening injuries.

Hopefully, the FDA will start requiring manufacturers of sunscreen to test their products for contamination and keep consumers safe.

Where can I find more information on the recall?

Information on the recall can be found on the FDA’s website here: Edgewell Personal Care Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Due to the Presence of Benzene | FDA. 

Additional information on recalls is posted on our website from time to time.

Stay safe and enjoy the final days of summer!

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