On July 29, 2022, Edgewell Personal Care Company issued a voluntary nationwide recall of three batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 due to trace amounts of benzene. Edgewell is the parent company of the popular sunscreen brand Banana Boat which sells millions of its sunscreen products annually in the United States. An internal review revealed that certain lots of the sunscreen contained levels of a carcinogenic chemical known as benzene.
Edgewell Announces Recall
Edgewell Personal Care Company revealed that it detected unexpected amounts of benzene in some of its Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 batches. The affected batches include:
- 6oz Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30; Lot Code: 20016AF; Expiration: December 2022
- 6oz Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30; Lot Code: 20084BF; Expiration: February 2023
- 6oz Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30; Lot Code: 21139AF; Expiration: April 2024
However, the FDA stated that this recall does not apply to Banana Boat Hair & Scalp batches before or after the listed batch codes or any other Banana Boat products. The FDA added that consumers may continue to safely use Banana Boat products outside of this recall. Edgewell’s review discovered that the benzene originated from the propellant that sprays the sunscreen out of the aerosol cans.
The affected sunscreen products were distributed nationwide in-store and online. Edgwell has notified retailers to remove the sunscreen sprays from stores and will offer a reimbursement for consumers who purchased the recalled products. The FDA advised consumers to stop using and discard the affected product immediately.
Benzene and Sunscreen
Various agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Health and Human Services, designate benzene as a known human carcinogen. While administrations have outlined limits for benzene exposure, research suggests that there may be no acceptable level of benzene exposure.
Edgwell’s recall is not the first instance of sunscreen products containing benzene. In May 2021, Valisure LLC identified levels of benzene in over 50 popular sunscreen products and encouraged the FDA to update the limits for benzene contamination in sunscreens. Following the independent laboratory’s report, manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson and Copperstone recalled several sunscreen products. Benzene exposure can result in life-threatening cancers such as leukemia and blood cancer.