Banana Boat Sunscreen Recalled Across the Country

by Taylor Cunningham

The producer of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling a scalp spray after learning that it contains trace amounts of a cancer-causing chemical.

The company, Edgewell Personal Care Co., announced the voluntary recall of Banana Boat Hair and Scalp Spray SPF 30 on Friday, July 29 citing benzene as the pollutant.

The recalled batches include products with lot codes 20016AF, 20084BF, and 21139AF. The expiration dates will read December 2022, February 2023, or April 2024, according to a posting by the FDA. Banana Boat packaged the scalp spray in a 6-ounce aerosol can. And retailers nationwide sell it both in storefronts and on websites.

Edgewell assures customers that no other batches are affected. And the company wrote that customers can continue using all other Banana Boat products “safely and as intended.”

Once announced the company prompted retailers to remove the product from their shelves. And all customers who purchased the tainted Hair and Scalp Spray should stop using the product immediately and contact Edgewell for full reimbursement.

Edgewell says that customers have not reported any injuries or illnesses from the Banana Boat product. However, it asks people to call Edgewell Personal Care at 1-888-686-3988 if they experience health-related issues.

The US Government Banned the Chemical Behind the Banana Boat Recall in the 1970s

While benzene is not normally an ingredient in Banana Boat products, it was once a common propellant in aerosol cans. However, the US government banned its use in personal and home products in 1978. The chemical is considered a carcinogen.

All people face benzene exposure to a degree while outdoors. But prolonged or repeated exposure can cause cancers such as leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow. It can also lead to other life-threatening blood disorders, according to the statement.

However, Edgewell writes that the amount of benzene in the sunscreen “would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. The company cites “an independent health assessment using established exposure modeling guidelines” as its source.

The government still allows manufacturers to use the chemical, however. And in the case of Banana Boat, a “review showed the unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.” 

If you have questions or comments about the recall, you can Edgewell Personal Care Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. You can also read more about the product on the Banana Boat FAQ page. To file a refund directly, visit the Banana Boat Recall page here.