An additional batch of sunscreen has been added to the recall first announced on July 29, 2022 for the presence of benzene.
Edgewell Personal Care expanded its recall from 3 to 4 batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scale Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 .1 A review found that samples from lot codes 20016AF, 20084BF, 21139AF, and 20301CF contain trace levels of the carcinogen benzene. Lot codes can be found at the bottom of the aerosol can. Health care professionals should alert their patients and are encouraged to report adverse events related to the use of the sunscreen to the US Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
Benzene is not an ingredient in any Banana Boat products. Upon review, the carcinogen came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin and can potentially result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer or the bone marrow and blood disorders, which can be life threatening. Daily exposure to benzene in the recalled sunscreen is not expected to cause adverse health effects. To date, 0 adverse effects have been reported to Edgewell.
“Benzene is not an ingredient in any of the personal hygiene products recalled to date - hand sanitizer, sunscreen, after-sun care products, dry shampoos, antifungal sprays, and deodorant sprays. It is a contaminant from the manufacturing process, which means consumers have no way of knowing whether benzene is in the product from reading the label in the store,” said Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at the Yale Department of Dermatology in New Haven, Connecticut. “One of the largest sources of benzene contamination seems to be from the manufacturing of sprays - hence why I currently advise my patients to avoid all spray/aerosol products because there is just not sufficient quality control over the manufacturing process.”
Those who have the affected product should stop using it immediately and safely discard. Retailers have been notified of the recall and urged to remove recalled sunscreen from their shelves. Edgewell has encouraged consumers to contact their health care provider with any questions or concerns related to their sunscreen or the recall. There are multiple ways for health care professionals to submit a report:
Bunick added, “I tell my patients who are concerned to take a couple simple steps: 1) avoid personal hygiene products that are aerosols until there is clearly established quality control; 2) for sunscreens, go to the Valisure website. Under the Benzene FDA Citizen Petition, check out Attachment A, which is a list of sunscreens that were not contaminated.”
The recall, first announced in July 2022, is voluntary. Banana Boat is also offering reimbursement for those who purchased a product marked with the lot codes.
1. Edgewell personal care issues voluntary nationwide recall of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen due to the presence of benzene – updated. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Published January 30, 2023. Accessed January 31, 2023. https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/edgewell-personal-care-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-banana-boat-hair-scalp-sunscreen-due-0?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery